Trainer Michael Pitman reckons his Group 1 sprinter Enzo’s Lad is going better than ever following a commanding victory in the Skelton Brothers Hcp (1200m) at Riccarton on Friday.The 6yo son of Testa Rossa travelled on the bit behind the speed and then peeled off heels to score by three-quarters of a length with something in hand. He clocked a quick 1.08.7s carrying 61kg less the claim for Kavish Chowdhoory.
Enzo’s Lad claimed the 2018 Telegraph Hcp Gr.1 at Trentham (pictured on rails) and is being set specifically for back-to-back wins there on January 19. He had returned from winter spell with a placing in the Ashburton Cup in October and a midfield finish in the Stewards Stakes Gr.3 after being trapped three-wide without cover.
“It was only a low-key race on Friday but it proved he’s on track for the Telegraph,” Pitman said on the weekend. “As a matter of fact, I reckon there’s been some improvement since his last prep. He pulled up perfectly and we will keep him in the South Island for the Wingatui Sprint (LR) on Boxing Day.”
Pitman has decided Enzo’s Lad will bypass the Railway Hcp Gr.1 at Ellerslie on January 1. “They go the reverse way and it can get a bit hot up there in the New Year. He’s lightly-raced and is one of those typical big, strong units from Australia. Hopefully, it’s a good track for the Telegraph and, more importantly, he draws in close.”
Vinery sire Testa Rossa got him from Reavill Farm mare Sheerama (Catbird). His dam is a half-sister to Patpong (Schillaci Stakes-Gr.2) and she has also foaled Australian winners by More Than Ready and Snitzel.
Enzo’s Lad cost a mere $15,000 at the 2014 Magic Millions National Yearling Sale and has now won 6 races for $245,775 in prizemoney. Chowdhoory was aboard for the first time on Friday and will be hoping to retain the ride after a polished display at Riccarton.
“Kavish is a mature-aged apprentice from Mauritius and he worked for Gai Waterhouse before coming to New Zealand,” Pitman said. “He can develop into one of the South Island’s best jockeys in the next twelve months.”
Testa Rossa has five yearlings entered for the 2019 Gold Coast Magic Millions starting with Lot 928, the colt from a half-sister to Divine Calling (MVRC Bill Stutt Stakes Gr.2) being offered by Baramul Stud.