John Gosden gave an update on some of his stable stars during the first virtual Henry Cecil Open Weekend.
While the Newmarket event will not take place in its traditional format due to the coronavirus pandemic, several popular elements are being shown online to support Racing Welfare, British Racing School and the Racing Centre.
Gosden is one of many of Newmarket’s top trainers to feature, with visitors to www.thehenrycecilopenweekend.co.uk also able to enjoy free-to-view stable tours with William Haggas, James Fanshawe and Charlie Appleby, among others.
The undoubted equine star of the town is Enable, who Gosden reported firmly on track for her bid for a historic third victory in the Prix de l’Arc de Triomphe in a fortnight’s time.
Gosden said: “Enable is very happy and well. She has been fine since the race at Kempton (September Stakes). She enjoyed that outing.
“It’s (the Arc) a massive task, a big mountain to climb again. If it had gone quite right last year, she obviously wouldn’t be trying to do it this year.
“It looks a fantastic race, Aidan O’Brien is fielding a wonderful filly in Love, who naturally being a three-year-old gets all the weight, which Enable benefited from when she won as a three-year-old, and there are some great older horses.
“It is very exciting – she is in great form to attempt the impossible. Frankie (Dettori) will hopefully be here next week to ride her in some work and help bring her up to the race.”
Enable is set to be joined in the Arc by illustrious stablemate Stradivarius.
The star stayer was narrowly beaten by Anthony Van Dyck in his recent Arc prep run in the Prix Foy.
Gosden added: “In the Prix Foy, Mickael Barzalona was riding Anthony Van Dyck and he went nice gentle fractions. In the French trials they do not like to overdo them, they come into the straight and then kick.
“I thought for a two-and-a-half-mile Ascot Gold Cup winner he showed great acceleration down the straight. The other horses behind never got to them. I thought both horses ran lovely races and he came up a neck short. I could not have been happier with him.”
Looking further ahead, the Clarehaven handler confirmed Palace Pier and Mishriff on course for Qipco British Champions Day at Ascot.
Palace Pier will put his unbeaten record on the line in the QEII at Ascot, while Mishriff is bound for the Champion Stakes.
“We are very much looking at the QEII with Palace Pier. We were very happy with the Jacques le Marois – we wanted that straight mile for him. They did have an excessive amount of rain, so it was very soft, but he handled it well,” said Gosden.
“The form got franked strongly in the Prix du Moulin. It was always the plan to go to the QEII and we will stick with it. He is certainly giving us all the right signs at the moment.
“There is a strong possibility that he stays in training as a four-year-old, in which case it will probably be his last run of the season as we are getting deep into October.
“I didn’t really want to be whizzing him off to Hong Kong or America at this stage, maybe we will do that sort of thing next year. Hopefully he runs a big race in the QEII, and we will be waiting to run him again as a four-year-old.”
Of Mishriff, he added: “We thought about the Arc. We looked at the pedigree and to me, he is not fully furnished and strengthened yet. He is still improving and the Arc at this stage of his career could do more harm than good.
“We decided we will stay at a mile and a quarter and he will be going to the Champion Stakes. I’d expect him to put up a pretty big show.”
Gosden also provided a positive update on Logician following his recent successful comeback at Doncaster.
Last year’s St Leger winner had been sidelined for 12 months after suffering a life-threatening illness last winter, but proved he retains plenty of ability on Town Moor.
Gosden said: “He came back – it was a two-horse conditions race, but what a lovely way to come back at Doncaster, where he had won the St Leger the year before. He took the race well.
“I don’t think we will try to do anything too flash this autumn. I think if we stay sensible, something like the Group Three Cumberland Lodge Stakes at Ascot. Try to nurse him back up the ladder a little bit, then hope that he will be in good order for next year.”