Enjin faces acid test
THE Mat Ellerton and Simon Zahra stable has questioned whether Enjin Number Nine is mentally mature enough to cope with the pressure of a race such as the Group One Australian Guineas.
The gelding, by 2004 Japan Cup winner Zenno Rob Roy, has won three of his five starts and jumped sharply in grade from a first-up Geelong Class One Hcp ( 1212m) win to score easily in the Listed Manfred Stakes ( 1300m) at Sandown from Guineas rival Bullbars.
However he disappointed jockey Glen Boss slightly when finishing fourth as favourite to Bullbars in the G r o u p T h r e e C S Ha y e s Stakes ( 1400m) at Flemington on February 19.
As a r e s u l t , Bo s s h a s chosen to ride the Danny O ’ B r i e n - t r a i n e d f i l l y Shamrocker with Damien Oliver picking up the ride on Enjin Number Nine.
‘‘ It was a really good run in the Hayes. Glen was forced to the fence and had to go with the frantic pace, but the main thing is he has come t hr o ugh t he r a c e r e a l l y well,’’ Zahra said.
‘‘ My only worry with him is if he’s mentally there yet and seasoned enough to win a race like this.’’
Enjin Number Nine will race in a nose roll today and Zahra explained why.
‘‘ He climbs in his action. He does that in his work and he’s done it most of his life,’’ Zahra said.
‘‘ We’re trying to get his head down so he can extend in his action and it will give him something else to concentrate on as well. It seems to have worked in his trackwork.
‘‘ You just can’t hustle and bustle him. You have to let him get into his routine and find his action and if he’s travelling into the straight he can let down with good turn of foot.’’
Since the Guineas was first run in 1986, no horse has won the race from outside barrier nine and Enjin Number Nine has drawn gate seven and will jump from six in the capacity field of 16 if the four emergencies are scratched.
O’Brien was happy enough with Shamrocker’s run when she resumed with a fourth to t h e u n b e a t e n S o u t h e r n Speed in the Group Three T h e V a n i t y ( 1 4 0 0 m ) a t Flemington on February 19.
‘‘ A mile second-up is ideal,’’ O’Brien said.
‘‘ Obviously it is a wideopen sort of Guineas and she is on her way to the Oaks in Sydney but she is certainly well enough to be running a good race.’’
Star West Australian colt Playing God has firmed from $ 7 to $ 5 favourite with TAB Sportsbet since draw beautifully in barrier three.
STEAMING HOME: Enjin Number Nine wins at Sandown