Matt Chapman talks Enable, Glorious Goodwood, Magical and on course bookies in his latest column

Enable etched herself into the history books once again on Saturday but who or what has made it into my latest Good Bad Ugly column…

Let’s find out.


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Well of course this sport has to be dominated by the wonder mare Enable, her incredible jockey Frankie Dettori and the mastermind of her training schedule John Gosden.

Enable’s third King George VI and Queen Elizabeth Stakes success – the first horse to have achieved that- was ruthless and decisive as she stuffed Sovereign and the flopping Japan.

In my book she is absolutely brilliant, but of course on BHA ratings she is not

To mention her in the same breath as Frankel on figures would make one look very stupid.  That got me thinking that greatness can be measured in so many ways.

Enable is a great. Her consistency is one aspect that makes her super special.  But her achievements as well.

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For me her most incredible success was the Breeders’ Cup Turf. I rate that above the Arcs and King Georges.

On ratings Enable should not be a horse any other horse should be massively afraid of at the top level. But we all know in reality she is a horse every other horse should fear. She is special. Super special. And has been for a long time.

Dettori makes big races and his delight at success was infectious for everyone. He’s not always the happy fella you see on TV!

But he’s a legend of the game and so important for the Sport of Kings. 

As for John Gosden well he surely goes down as one of the greatest handlers we have seen. I’d have no problem with Sir John Gosden as I have said many times before.


Enable won by a distance Saturday and her arch rival Magical did the same in Ireland yesterday. Two Group 1s within twenty four hours of each other with two horses who have met each other five times but now get gifted prizes.

Of course this is an odd year and Covid has messed us all up. Every single one of us. But surely race planners could sort things a little better? 

We won’t always have two super powers like we have at the moment in the shape of Aidan O’Brien and Gosden. So you can’t change the whole pattern of the game just for them.

But thought does need to go into a way forward for the Flat season. Less Group races would strengthen the breed rather than weaken it.


On course bookmakers have been forgotten during Covid, mainly because of course most racing fans believe all bookmakers are rich. Well rest assured they are not.

One thing Covid has shown us all is that companies that you would think were making big profits are just scraping along. And a blip causes them to go under quickly.

There will be many on course bookmakers suffering ugly times and being in dire straights, and it’s hard to know when they will be able to trade again with any kind of normality.

Just a handful will be at Goodwood this Saturday.  Bookmakers add colour and beauty to a racecourse in terms of being part of an event. And on occasions they can add value to your pocket. We need them. 

When they return I hope they have all got together to sort out one or two things. This is their chance to unite.

So let’s have each-way betting terms on their return that are accepted across the boards. Like 1-4 the odds 1-2-3-4 in sixteen or more runner handicaps. And possibly first past the post results.

Come on girls and boys. Use your return for a big announcement. Unite and trade well.

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