Enbihaar retains Lillie Langtry crown at Goodwood with the minimum of fuss

Sat 1 Aug 2020

Enbihaar landed the odds to complete back-to-back victories in the Qatar Lillie Langtry Stakes at Goodwood.

The John Gosden-trained five-year-old outclassed her two rivals to run out a comfortable winner of the Group Two contest over a mile and three-quarters.

Irish raider Snow set the pace, but was tracked all the way by Enbihaar. Jim Crowley bided his time on the 1-2 favourite before pressing the button two furlongs out.

She quickly went by the long-time leader and was not hard pressed to hold off Cabaletta by three and a half lengths, in a race that had seen the field reduced to three following the late withdrawal of Manuela De Vega.

Crowley said: “She’s just a big, galloping mare. There were only three of us, but she jumps slowly so I had to sit on Ryan’s (Moore, on Snow) girth and keep him honest all the way. This mare wouldn’t want a sprint and she did it nicely in the end.

“Last year she went for the French race over a mile and five at Longchamp (Qatar Prix de Royallieu), but it came up very heavy. That could be another possible race for her. She stays really well, whether connections feel she can step up to two (miles), I don’t know.

“Although she’s big filly, she points her toe and just bogged down in the mud in France last year. Fast ground is key to her. She loves it.”

Enbihaar could head to Doncaster first to try to repeat last year’s win in the Park Hill Stakes before going to ParisLongchamp, if the ground is suitable.

Angus Gold tells Nick Luck more about Enbihaar

Gosden’s son and assistant, Thady, said: “She’s got that lovely long stride and picked up beautifully in the straight.

“A mile and a half is a little sharp for her these days and she relished the step up to a mile and six on the quick ground.

“It will be a pretty similar path to last year. We’ll probably go to the Park Hill and Doncaster and then on to the Prix de Royallieu. The ground was a bit soft for her last year.”

Angus Gold, racing manager to owner Hamdan Al Maktoum, said: "It is unlike Sheikh Hamdan to keep an older mare in training, so I am glad to see him rewarded for that decision with another Group win. We needed to get a run into her at Newmarket and it was good to see her come back over the extra trip and show her old enthusiasm.

"The plan initially was to win a G1 with her this year. I will talk to John, see what the options are and what Sheikh Hamdan would like to do. It's just nice to see her come out and show that amazing stride she has got on her - once she gets into that, she is a potent weapon. Jim said that she will stay two miles any day, so it opens up the options a bit.

"She probably doesn't want the ground too soft. She would get stuck in very soft ground with that action and we thought that was partly her undoing in Paris last year. Let's see what sort of autumn we get."

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