After travelling around the world, Enzo’s Lad is back home in New Zealand in a bid to win the Group One Telegraph for a third time.
The Michael and Matthew Pitman-trained gelding has won the past two editions of the Telegraph (1200m) at Trentham where his opposition on Saturday includes Australian mare Winter Bride, second in the Railway at Ellerslie.
“It’s going to be a good field as per usual and hopefully he will be cherry ripe by Saturday,” Michael Pitman told NZ Racing Desk.
“When he won it the first year I don’t think he got the credit he deserved.
“The second time around proved that it wasn’t a fluke. If he won it three years in a row it would be a massive effort.”
Since last year’s victory, Enzo’s Lad has campaigned in Hong Kong and then England at the famous Royal Ascot meeting.
Enzo’s Lad finished unplaced in all three runs and Pitman said he still showed signs of the travel.
“He’s been hanging on to a winter coat, which sounds strange given we are in the middle of summer, but when we got to England he had grown a winter coat leading into their summer, so we had to clip him,” he said.
“While he has been hanging on to his winter coat I have seen a lot of improvement in the last fortnight.”
Although Enzo’s Lad has tailed the field home in two of his three starts back in New Zealand, Pitman said he needed firm ground to produce his best.
Pitman has taken a different approach with Enzo’s Lad this year, electing to bring him north from Christchurch a week before his Wellington assignment.
“We have done things a bit different because he is an older horse,” he said.
“I brought him up with the horses we raced on the first day just to do something different with him.”
The Pitmans will also run Sensei, third in a dead-heat a year ago.
“Sensei is an extremely good galloper. He’s probably the fastest horse we have had anything to do with,” Pitman said.
“We are really happy with him, but he will also need to have a firm track,” Pitman said.
Sam Weatherley rides Sensei while Michael McNab will be reunited with Enzo’s Lad.