The Enzo and Josh Parr return to scale after winning the Inglis Classic (Lisa Grimm)
We can’t be sure exactly when Glen Spratt went for the imaginary whip in Saturday’s $250,000 Inglis Classic over 1200m at Warwick Farm, but it’s fairly safe to say that he’d long dispensed with the tongue tie by the time that The Enzo forged to the lead with 100m to go.
Spratt doesn’t own The Enzo – that decided privilege belongs to Hong Kong based, Patrick Lee, after the colt was sold for $50,000 at last year’s Inglis Classic Yearling Sale – but he clearly had a vested interest in giving the 2YO a good cheer home.
After all, less than six hours on from The Enzo adding the Inglis Classic to his resume, Spratt – via his Lustre Lodge operation – was selling a Deep Field half brother during the opening session of the 2018 Inglis Sydney Classic Yearling Sale.
And not surprisingly, given the record breaking nature of Inglis’s first auction at its new Riverside stables, The Enzo’s half was knocked down to prominent owner, Alan Bell, for $170,000.
“I was over the moon with The Enzo’s Inglis Classic win,” Spratt points out. “Having bred and sold him is just as good as racing the colt as far as I’m concerned. Terrific feeling.
“We had a reserve of $100,000 on the Deep Field colt and while there wasn’t a dramatic increase in inspections after the race, Team Hawkes (which will train the horse for Bell) came back for another look around 6.30pm and obviously liked what they saw.”
Co-founder of Wizard Home Loans, Spratt is a non bank lender by trade and horse lover by nature, purchasing Lustre Lodge – a 63 acre property near Wyong on NSW’s Central Coast – with good mate, David Knight, in 2014. The Enzo was one of three yearlings sold by the farm in 2017, the first Sydney Classic consignment under the Lustre banner.
Still, Spratt is no Enzo-come-lately.
“I initially purchased a share in one of the old Harry Lawton syndicates: quite a few years ago now,” Spratt explains. “I got my first broodmare around 20 years ago and bred Flight of Pegasus who was Group placed as a 2YO, but the thrill of winning that race on Saturday is hard to top.”
The Enzo is by the sorely missed Widden Stud stallion, Stratum (37 stakes winners) from the winning Sebring mare, Danica, a relation to Horse of the Year and sire, Zafonic, along with Champion Sire, Zamindar.
“Lustre Lodge has around 20 mares and is managed by Frank Oliver and his partner, Helen Branigan who do a great job with the horses: as evidenced by how well the yearlings have sold in the last two years.”
Watching the race at Riverside, Oliver went stride for stride with Spratt in the cheering stakes, but was a little perplexed at The Enzo’s juvenile success.
Starting out as a jockey over 40 years ago and having worked for leading farms both here and abroad, the diminutive Oliver said The Enzo’s ‘precocity’ has caught him by surprise.
“He (The Enzo) was a big brute and while he’s bred to go early, his conformation didn’t exactly lend itself to 2YO racing,” Oliver muses. “I thought he’d develop more into a 1400m horse or a miler – he still might! – so to win the way he did is great for the owner and (trainer) Mark Newnham, but it’s also terrific for Glen, David and Lustre Lodge.
“It augurs well too for Alan Bell and Team Hawkes, because if The Enzo can do what he’s doing this early in the piece, then the Deep Field – who definitely looks every inch the early comer – should be right on the money to add even more lustre to the Lodge by this time next year.”
Trainer, Mark Newnham, has largely echoed Oliver’s assessment and claims that The Enzo is more likely to target the Group One Sires’ Produce over 1400m (7 April) and Group One Champagne Stakes over 1600m (21 April) as opposed to the 1200m of the Golden Slipper.
“I see him more of a seven furlong-mile horse,” Newnham explains. “The Inglis Classic was a great race to win but we’ll just pick and choose our races because I’m not sure he’d be suited in the Slipper,” Newnham said.
“He was a nice type as a yearling. We liked him straight away and Sydney racing is all about 2YOs … the bigger owners and breeders want to see you win these sorts of races.”
Patrick Lee was clearly happy to win “these sorts of races” too.
“This horse (The Enzo) was not expensive but is a really nice horse … he was a good type at the sales – the eye was shiny and his walk was very smooth and strong.
“I always have luck at Inglis sales!”
Despite having kept his powder dry for the first two sessions of the 2018 Inglis Classic, Lee can lay claim to 2YO stakes winners in successive years, having purchased 2017 Group Two Skyline Stakes winner, Diamond Tathagata for $100,000 – raced by his father-in-law and also trained by Newnham – from the 2016 Inglis Melbourne Premier Yearling Sale.
HOOFNOTE: Although the 2018 Inglis Sydney Classic Yearling Sale still had more than a day to run at the time this article was posted online, the auction house’s shift to its new Riverside Stables at Warwick Farm could only be deemed a massive success.
While vendors, buyers and horses all appeared to relish the new ‘digs’, it was reflected too in the results with the average having increased by 31% to $87,586 by the close of the second session on Sunday evening, while the median was up a whopping 40% to $70,000 ($50,000 in 2017).