SUNDAY: June 7, 2020: IMAGINE a rising 10-year-old mare still mixing it with and beating her younger rivals?
And then her stablemate bouncing back from surgery to post another win on his pet track and distance.
It wasn’t a dream. Enigami (imagine spelt backwards) showed that age certainly isn’t wearying her when successful at Tamworth yesterday and Captain Courageous made it three wins from only four starts over the Hawkesbury 1000m today, completing a weekend to remember for Hawkesbury husband and wife training duo Philippe and Tara Vigouroux.
Apprentice Qin Yong, now based at Wyong with trainer Damien Lane, partnered nine-year-old mare Enigami ($8), who posted the ninth win of her 79-start career at Tamworth.
Captain Courageous ($26), with Winona Costin aboard, belied his odds in leading throughout in the Pegasus Roofing Benchmark 64 Handicap (1000m) at his first run since undergoing surgery to remove bone chips from both his front fetlocks.
Enigami is raced by Philippe Vigouroux and his father-in-law, Hawkesbury stalwart Ken Quigley, and was switched to the Hawkesbury stable after only two starts for a Sydney trainer in 2014, the last being when she failed to beat a runner home in a 1000m Maiden at her now home track.
Remarkably, her nine wins for Team Vigouroux have all been achieved at different tracks in New South Wales.
“Enigami’s original owner decided he did not wish to go on with her after we won a Maiden with her at Cessnock at only her second start for us,” Tara Vigouroux explained today.
“So we purchased her and Dad took 50 per cent.
“Enigami is a stable favorite and so adored by us.
“She does not like being hit with the whip behind the saddle and that, coupled with the fact she isn’t a big mare, gives us the opportunity to put claiming apprentices on her as we regularly do.”
Enigami was actually “retired” last year until Philippe Vigouroux felt she “looked so unhappy” in a paddock not far from their stable and decided to put her back into work.
She won first-up at Forbes in October last year and, with a couple of brief freshen-ups, has remained in work.
As well as her debut victory at Cessnock along with Forbes last year and Tamworth yesterday, Enigami has also won at Wagga, Queanbeyan, Taree, Port Macquarie, Armidale, and Gundagai.
Claire Lever (nee Nutman) rode her in her first five wins, and she has since been partnered to victory by apprentices Liam Blanch, Atsu Maeda and Qin Yong, who has been aboard in her last two successes.
The Chinese native claimed 1.5kg on the mare yesterday and hugged the rail before switching her around the heels of the two leaders to defeat $3.90 favorite Ruby Two Shoes and Sandy Town ($12).
The fact that Enigami is still competitive at nearly 10 years of age is a huge credit to her trainers – as is today’s winner Captain Courageous.
The Declaration Of War four-year-old, a $62,500 purchase at the second session of the 2017 Melbourne Premier yearling sale, had not raced since last November when unplaced in a Benchmark 64 Handicap (1100m) on his home track and lined up for today’s assignment without a recent trial hitout.
It mattered not. Captain Courageous flew the gates and was never threatened, staving off Matowatakpe ($7.50) and Invincible Kiss ($19) to post the fourth win of his 16-start career.
He won on debut over the Newcastle 900m in September 2018 and has reeled off his three subsequent victories over the Hawkesbury 1000m.
. The Team Vigouroux weekend double lifted the training partnership to 10 wins so far this season.