Enchantee does it again
By Jonny Turner
Enchantee showed that for a mare that is supposed to be retired she makes a mighty racehorse when making it back to back wins in the Roxburgh Cup.
After four trips through the breeding barn and travelling most of the length of the country to get to Roxburgh the Nick Le Lievre trained seven-year-old was too good for her rivals in the 2700m feature for the second year in a row.
And after all of that, a home turn challenge from runner-up Deus Ex meant she had to be tough, too.
“It is thrilling to win with a horse as nice as her,” Le Lievre said.
“She is a family pet almost, we just love her.”
“She is out of a mare that my dad bred before he passed away.”
“I broke her in and have done everything with her, so it is pretty special.”
Her second Roxburgh Cup win came when Enchantee was supposed to be in foal and retired.
But after failing to conceive it looks like she has another fruitful year on the track ahead.
“She never held in foal, we served her with Art Major four times and she was meant to be retired,” Le Lievre said.
Enchantee brought rare form to the Roxburgh Cup having run an unlucky fourth behind Beyond Words in the group 1 Queen Of Hearts at Alexandra Park in her last start.
She could have missed her Roxburgh defence of Le Lievre had opted for another crack at group racing in Auckland.
“We sent her up there for the two group races and she could have gone in another one on New Year's Eve.”
“But it would have meant a quick turnaround to get her ready for the mares races at Addington.”
Le Lievre credited Northern trainers Steve and Amanda Telfer for helping him have his mare in winning condition after her long trip from Auckland to Roxburgh via her home base in Prebbleton.
“Steve Telfer said to me he has never had a horse that has come to Alexandra Park for the first time and adapted so well.”
“I have to mention Steve and Amanda because they are great people and terrific trainers and they really care.”
Enchantee was aided by a pinpoint drive from Blair Orange, who had to manoeuvre her around runners twice to maintain the lead.
Deus Ex was brave in second, a length from the winner, after sitting parked for the last 1600m of the Roxburgh Cup.
Memphis Tennessee held third, four lengths behind the first two.
Earlier at yesterday’s meeting, Kirstin Barclay produced a similarly aggressive drive behind Wattlebank Star, who produced a popular win in her first start in race 5.
Rather than being stuck in midfield Barclay, who trains the three-year-old in partnership with Tank Ellis, sent Wattlebank Star to the front with a lap to go to set up a strong victory.
With plenty to learn about racing and more fitness to come, the win should be the start of better things for the pacer.
“I was really pleased with her,” Barclay said.
“We gave her a wee spell after we qualified her and she got a bit fat on me.”
“I thought she might have been a bit short [of fitness], but her class rose to the top today.”
“She was a wee bit green and she did a few things wrong, so she should improve from it.”
Kerryn Tomlinson’s good judgement on and off the track was rewarded when Maudarchy won race 3.
The trotter was having just her second start since being purchased by the junior reinswoman when she ran away from her rivals to win over 2700m.
In front soon after the start, Maudarchy never gave her rivals a look in.
“Once she stepped and got to the top like that it was great.”
“For her to run away from them like that, she went huge.”
Tomlinson does most of the work with Maudarchy at the stables of her employer, Brad Williamson