Enzo Lad in upset
THE South Island has claimed another Telegraph upset, with Enzo’s Lad giving Matthew Pitman an emotional first Group I win.
The 74-1 shot upset a high-quality field at Trentham on Saturday, one year on from Signify’s win in the race at odds of 46-1.
It was also apprentice jockey Sam Weatherley’s first Group I win, as he produced a beaut of a ride from the ace draw.
He lobbed the five-year-old gelding into the trail, before getting a split between the leader Ferrando and Passing Shot and charging to the finish to hold off a fast-finishing Kawi by a short neck, with Ferrando holding on for third.
Pittman, who trains in partnership with his father Michael, was emotional after the race, dedicating the race to his late brother Jonny, who died in November 2013.
‘‘It’s really special. It’s been no secret, we’ve really felt the ups and downs of not only racing but life in general,’’ Pitman said.
‘‘To get this today means the world to me.
‘‘I’d love for Johnny to be here.
‘‘He’s not, but it’s our family, it’s our team.’’ Michael Pittman was down in Gore racing the rest of their team.
Matthew Pittman said they always had a high opinion of the horse, who took his record to five wins from 20 races, including the Pegasus Stakes during New Zealand Cup week.
‘‘He’s been right up to the mark the whole way through this campaign, we’ve always thought highly of him and he showed that in the Pegasus during Cup week.
‘‘That last start he struck a wet track and he’s no good on a wet track at all.
‘‘Sam had really done his homework and he knew exactly how he wanted the race to pan out and he rode it beautifully and it panned out just how he pictured it to me. Full credit to him.’’
Weatherley, last year’s champion apprentice, was understandably overjoyed to pick up his first Group I in just his second year of riding. ’’I’m over the moon to be honest.
‘‘He just had all the luck in the world. He had the trail, he’s got the split one off and he’s just tried his heart out.
‘‘I could see Kawi out of the corner of my eye and he started to look around a bit too and put a bit of worry in my mind, but he’s just too tough. He’s a very good horse.’’
Kawi produced a strong run for second, against what appeared to be an on-pace bias during the day, while Ferrando was valiant after leading all the way.
Earlier, Stolen Dance produced an upset of sorts in the Thorndon Mile, winning at odds of 23-1 for trainers Murray Baker and Andrew Forsman and jockey Sam Spratt.