New Zealand trainer Michael Pitman has issued an upbeat bulletin on dual Group 1 winning sprinter Enzo’s Lad as the gelding prepares for an audacious tilt at Royal Ascot’s Group 1 King’s Stand Stakes (5f) and Group 1 Diamond Jubilee Stakes (6f) next week.
Just days after Pitman received the all clear from the bowel cancer he was diagnosed with in August, something which he described as “a major reprieve”, the New Zealand handler confirmed that both races remain on Enzo’s Lad radar in a bid to emulate the feat last achieved by subsequent Coolmore Stud stallion Choisir.
“He’s been training really well. He galloped on the Golden Mile in company with Japanese stayer Deidre and a horse of Jane Chapple-Hyam’s on Saturday morning,” Pitman said yesterday.
“He worked away from the seven furlongs and did 1100 metres, working strongly through the line, so we’re really happy with him. We didn’t time him, but he seemed to be enjoying his work.
“John Egan worked him for us this morning on the Al Bahathri and he said he’s feeling tremendous. He’s an old head and he should know what he’s talking about and said he picked up really good. My wife and I went up to watch him and we liked what we saw.
“John is going to work him for us tomorrow up on the Al Bahathri and then he’ll have a bit of a squeeze-up on Saturday morning. He should be pretty right after that.”
Despite being overlooked in the market as a general $51 shot who is as long as $67, Pitman has no doubts that Enzo’s Lad is deserving of his place at Royal Ascot, pointing to his two victories in the Group 1 Telegraph Handicap (1200m) at Trentham as an indicator of his ability to compete at the highest level.