IN Racing
Wet track will suit youngster’s stakes bid
“We’ll have a throw at the stumps at the 1600m, it’s not going to be easy and probably be the survival of the toughest and the fittest.
Paul Vettise, LOVERACING.NZ News Desk | May 22, 2024
Enchanted Elle will contest the Jamieson Park Handicap (1500m) at Pukekohe Park on Saturday. Photo: Kenton Wright (Race Images)

Take The Crown will have underfoot conditions in his favour at Pukekohe when he takes on black-type company for the first time.

The youngster confirmed plans for a crack at Saturday’s Listed Staphanos At Novara Park Champagne Stakes (1600m) with a strong resuming effort for third at New Plymouth.

“He ran a big race at Taranaki the other day and we had this one in the back of our minds,” trainer Shaun Phelan said.

“We rode him back to get home over 1200m and it turned out he was run off his feet early, so he did well.”

Take The Crown showed early promise with the son of Ten Sovereigns unbeaten in two trials but was unable to repeat that form in subsequent race day starts.

“We had him up early, but through the summer two-year-old races they were just too fast for him, he hasn’t got that turn of foot on those tracks.”

From a family that includes the Gr.1 Levin Classic (1600m) winner Age Of Fire, Take The Crown will be in his element on Saturday with heavily rain-affected going in play.

“We turned him out and brought him back for the winter and he does handle the wet tracks well,” Phelan said.

“He has matured a lot and had a bit of time now, which has done him good.

“We’ll have a throw at the stumps at the 1600m, it’s not going to be easy and probably be the survival of the toughest and the fittest.

“We’ve got Michael McNab engaged so that’s definitely a bonus as well.”

Stablemate Enchanted Elle will kick off a new campaign in the Jamieson Park Handicap (1500m) and warmed up for her return with a runner-up finish in a 1200m heat at the Avondale trials earlier this month.

“She has come back well, we had her up in the summer and it just didn’t work out for her,” Phelan said.

“We’ll probably aim her at the Taumarunui Gold Cup (2200m) and those sorts of races, she is as good as ever.”

Enchanted Elle won the Te Rapa staying feature last season and wasn’t disgraced on top of the ground when ninth and six lengths off the winner Ladies Man in the Gr1.1 Livamol Classic (2040m).

Also in action at Pukekohe will be Pacheco, who performed above expectations with his resuming second behind Casino Princess at Rotorua, in the Thanks Peter & Dawn Williams Handicap (1600m).

“He had been working well but when we got to the races, we thought the track may have been a bit too good in that company,” Phelan said.

“I got him as a potential jumper and is a bit of a thinking horse, he is probably looking for a bit further so we’ve kept him fresh for this.

“He had a hurdle trial before that race at Rotorua so he’s ready to go jumping, but we’ll play it by ear.

“If he keeps running well on the flat he’ll stick to that for a bit, it will be a long winter so we’ll mix it up a bit with him.”

Enchanted Elle Shaun Phelan Michael McNab Take The Crown Ten Sovereigns Pacheco Lised Staphanos at Novara Park Champagne Stakes