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NEWS: Tributes from Gosden and Dettori to Khalid Abdullah
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NEWS: Tributes from Gosden and Dettori to Khalid Abdullah
on 14 January 2021
John Gosden and Frankie Dettori led the tributes to owner-breeder Khalid Abdullah following his death on Tuesday.

John Gosden and Frankie Dettori enjoyed huge success on the track with Prince Kahlid Abdullah, most notably with the brilliant racemare Enable, who was retired last October having won 15 of her 19 career starts, with her tally of 11 Group 1s including back-to-back victories in the Prix de l’Arc de Triomphe.

Last summer Enable became the first horse to win a third King George VI And Queen Elizabeth Stakes at Ascot, while her big-race haul also included the Oaks at Epsom, the Irish Oaks, two Yorkshire Oaks’ and the Coral-Eclipse.

Other big-race winners for the Abdullah-Gosden combination include 2019 St Leger hero Logician, the top-class miler Kingman and the popular sprinter Oasis Dream.

Gosden told the PA news agency: “Prince Khalid Abdullah first enjoyed going racing in the 1950s as a young man in Paris. This sparked his bold and thorough plan to establish a breeding operation in the late 1970s, an illustration of his brilliant mind.

“In the period of 20 years, he established himself as both a European and American champion breeder. His charming and humorous manner was coupled with a great strategic approach, both in business and in his horseracing and breeding operation.

“He was a very private and patrician gentleman and a very strong family man, for whom it has been a great honour and privilege to train for 38 years.”

“He was amazing and a true giant of the sport.

Dettori hailed Abdullah as “a true giant of the sport”. He said: “He was a great of the sport. I had one of my early Group Ones aboard a horse he owned called Ryafan in the Prix Marcel Boussac, who was trained by John (Gosden).

“He was amazing and a true giant of the sport. You could go on naming all the great horses he has owned, but you would have to say Enable, Frankel and Dancing Brave are the three that stand out.

“Enable will always be the apple of my eye and the last time I saw him was when she won her second Arc.

“He was a real gentleman and he loved his horses. He was very passionate and knowledgeable about them and the results speak for themselves. What he has done for the whole industry is fantastic.

“Though Enable will always stand out to me, Frankel will always be the best horse that I’ve seen and have had to race against.

“I went to see Dancing Brave win the 2000 Guineas in 1986 – I wasn’t riding then and he was incredible. He was then beaten in that famous Derby before winning the King George and the Arc.

“I grew up in an era watching horses like Dancing Brave win and you were always very excited that one day you might get to wear those silks – ones that had been associated with such great success.”

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