SUNDAY: July 11, 2021: ENJOLRAS was a fictional revolutionary character in the 1862 novel and later famed musical Les Miserables who fought for the poor, and ultimately died for his beliefs at the hands of a firing squad.
His equine namesake at Newcastle yesterday finally hit the track for the first time after a string of trials, and “shot” down his rivals in an impressive debut.
The beautifully-bred rising three-year-old landed the 2YO Maiden Handicap (1300m) at $31, giving Hawkesbury’s leading trainer Brad Widdup his 34th winner of the season.
And whilst he started at big odds, Widdup wasn’t totally surprised with the Snitzel youngster’s performance.
“I like the horse; he’s a really good mover,” Widdup said today.
“But I had given him six trials, and his form was a bit indifferent.
“I tried blinkers on him at his second trial back this preparation at Hawkesbury on June 15 when Alysha Collett rode him, and he over-raced.
“So I took them off 10 days later when he trialled again at Wyong (with Jay Ford up), and decided to ride him quietly.
“Jay came back and said we should put him in the contest when he started racing, as he lost interest getting back in the field.”
Widdup heeded Ford’s advice when Aaron Bullock was unable to fulfil his Newcastle bookings, and Adrian Layt picked up the mount.
“Adrian had taken notice of Enjolras’ trials, and agreed to put him into the race to give him every chance.”
Always in touch, Enjolras comfortably beat $2.40 favorite Garnish and another roughie, $81 chance Artiebe.
Now that he has broken through, Enjolras is likely to chase another win in a Class 1 Handicap (1400m) against his own sex at Kembla Grange on July 31.
Enjolras is raced by Max Whitby and Neil Werrett, who bred him and offered him for sale as a yearling at the Gold Coast last year.
They decided to keep him when he fell a bit short of his $250,000 reserve price.
Enjolras is the sixth foal of the Savabeel mare Scarlett Lady, who was prepared by legendary Kiwi trainer Graeme Rogerson and retired with a tremendous record of eight wins from 16 starts.
She won both the Group 3 Doomben Roses (2020m) and Group 1 Queensland Oaks (2400m) at Eagle Farm during the 2011 Brisbane winter carnival, and the Group 1 NZ Stakes (2000m) at Ellerslie the following year.
Sydney’s leading jockey James McDonald, then based in his native New Zealand, rode Scarlett Lady in all her eight wins.
One of Scarlett Lady’s foals, Enjolras’ older brother Party Everyday, found his way to Hong Kong and his three wins to date have all been on Sha Tin’s all-weather track.
. Fellow Hawkesbury trainer Claire Lever landed her seventh winner in her first season when favorite She’s Smart scored at yesterday’s Cowra TAB meeting.
Ridden by Nick Heywood, She’s Smart ($2.05) carried 61.5kg and held off the strong-finishing Earp ($9.50) to take the F&M Benchmark 50 Handicap (1100m).
Former jockey Lever, who has done a tremendous job in her inaugural season, is the fifth trainer of the widely-travelled She’s Smart, who began her career in Sydney and later raced in Queensland before joining Lever’s Hawkesbury team.