Kiwi sprinter Enzo’s Lad has fulfilled a long-term mission with a brilliant burst of sustained speed to win the Pegasus Stakes-LR at Riccarton.
Trainers Michael & Matthew Pittman targeted their Testa Rossa sprinter for the short-course feature earlier this year and he responded to carve out the 1000m dash in a sizzling 56.28s. “We’ve always had a big opinion of this horse,” Matt Pittman said on Saturday. “He started to run some very nice races in the autumn just as the tracks started to get wet.
“We always thought he’d be a nice horse in the spring and he’s come up beautifully this prep. He could grow into a very nice sprinter.”
Enzo’s Lad is the 63rd stakes winner by Testa Rossa who stands for a $16,500 (inc gst) service fee at Vinery Stud. He was bred by Reavill Farm from Sheerama (Catbird) who is a half-sister to Patpong (Schillaci Stakes-Gr.2). The mare has also foaled Australian winners by More Than Ready and Snitzel.
It was the third Pegasus Stakes win for the Pittmans since 2009 following Coup Align and So Elusive. He speared through an opening in the straight and then held off the late runs of Don Carlo and Signify to score by a length.
“I really like this horse,” jockey Chris Johnson said. “I got a gap before it closed and he was just too good for them. He’s only lightly-raced and seems to be getting better with age.”
The Group 1 Telegraph Hcp (1200m) at Trentham in January is a likely target for Enzo’s Lad.