Trainer John Gosden has hailed star mare Enable as a truly great athlete, insisting her prep for a big race is akin to that of a heavyweight boxer going into battle.

The daughter of Nathaniel goes into Saturday’s King George VI And Queen Elizabeth Stakes at Ascot bidding to record her 11th straight success in a career where she been beaten only once.

Enable is 4/6 favourite with Betfred to win a second renewal of Ascot’s mid-summer, all-aged Group 1 event, having triumphed in 2017 as a three-year-old.

Having suffered training setbacks early last term, Enable battled back to win a second Prix de l’Arc de Triomphe at Longchamp in the autumn. Winning that race for an historic third time (Enable 6/4 to win) is the ultimate goal this term.

Ahead of that is Ascot on Saturday, where she would become the first five-year-old winner of the King George VI And Queen Elizabeth QIPCO Stakes since Aggressor in 1960.

“She’s like the great heavyweight boxers training in the gym in the lead up to a Championship fight, just quietly goes through the motions, she knows what she wants and what she needs to do,” said Gosden.

“When she had a difficult year (last year), coming back from injury, surgery and sickness, she still managed to do the job. I admired that a lot, like any great athlete, it’s not easy to get yourself back to the top again. That’s a big ask for any athlete.”

She faces last year’s runner-up Crystal Ocean (5/2), as well as Epsom Derby winner Anthony Van Dyck (6/1) in a battle of the generations on Saturday.

It represents a proper challenge but Gosden knows that her rivals will have to go some to beat a peak-form Enable over her optimal 1m4f trip.

“She’s very enthusiastic, loves her training and racing, and that makes my job easier. A pleasure to be around with a strong, competitive mind. When she’s fit and well, she becomes very determined,” he added.

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