Enzo’s Lad will return to Trentham on Saturday in a bid to retain his crown in the Listed Hardy Trade Supply Company Lightning Handicap (1200m).
The Michael and Matthew Pitman-trained eight-year-old has a strong record at the Upper Hutt track, having also recorded two victories and a runner-up performance in the Group 1 Telegraph (1200m).
While the son of Testa Rossa failed to feature in this year’s running of the Telegraph in January, his trainers are looking forward to getting him back to Trentham on Saturday after a couple of South Island runs.
“We thought he went really well two starts back at Riccarton,” Matthew Pitman said. “He didn’t get all favours when we went to Trentham with him in January, the track didn’t really suit with that inside being off as it was.
“He went to Dunedin the other day and he has got a poor record there, but he always seems to go well after racing at Dunedin leading into Wellington.
“He is probably the class horse in the field. He is getting a bit long in the tooth now, but he is not showing us any signs of that and if he ends up with a good draw when the fields come out tomorrow I think he will be a big chance.
“I know Avantage has gone on to better things, but she has left the throne empty (at Trentham) and hopefully the King of Wellington can retake his throne.”
Meanwhile, the Pitmans will take a team of three to Ashburton on Thursday.
All About Magic will be fresh-up in the Ecolab (1200m) in preparation for the Group 3 Valachi Downs South Island Breeders’ Stakes (1600m).
She won the Listed Timaru Stakes (1400m) in January and Pitman has been pleased with the way she has returned.
“She was pretty impressive in the Timaru Stakes,” he said. “We decided to freshen her up and target the next stakes race at Riccarton in two weeks time.
“1200m on Thursday looks like an ideal lead-up into that. She has drawn one, so she will get a nice cosy trip and come with one last run at them.
“It shouldn’t be too hard of a run, it looks like a nice lead-up race.”
Pitman also believes He’s Ready will be a strong chance of recording his maiden win in the Morrison’s Saddlery & Feed (1200m).
“He’s Ready has been knocking on the door,” Pitman said. “He is not the easiest horse, he hangs in a little bit and can pull a bit hard, but we think he will break maidens pretty quickly.
“From the barrier (1) he has got on Thursday he is going to get every opportunity and looks one of the horses to beat in the race.”
The Pitmans’ team will be rounded out by Da Vinci Girl in the NZB Insurance Pearl Series Race (1400m).
“Da Vinci Girl is a horse we thought we might be able to target an Oaks with early on in the season,” Pitman said. “That is why we ran in the Guineas back in November and she’s just taken a bit of time to come of age and to grow into herself.
“She is another one we think can go on to better things. It has just taken a little while to get that maiden win. We expect her to do it soon and if she does she could go onto something like the Warstep Stakes (Listed, 2000m).
“We have got a nice enough team in at Ashburton, we have got three nice each way chances I feel.”