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Enticing Star back on track ahead of Winterbottom

4 min read

A strong trial earlier this week has trainer Adam Durrant convinced that boom mare Enticing Star (Testa Rossa) is ready to resume her winning ways when she contests the G1 Winterbottom S. at Ascot on December 1.

Enticing Star had put together eight consecutive wins to start her career before an uncharacteristic performance when sixth as favourite in the G2 Lee Steere S. on November 10.

The 5-year-old was in-season ahead of that defeat and Durrant told TABRadio that was the only excuse he could offer for the performance.

"She's bounced back and her trial was spot on. It's given us that confidence again." - Adam Durrant

"We've done every test under the sun and all we can put it down to is that she was in season and I guess she's entitled to that side of things," he said. "She's bounced back and her trial was spot on. It's given us that confidence again."

Enticing Star remains second favourite for the feature sprint of the Ascot Racing Carnival behind last year's winner Viddora (I Am Invincible)

The trial at Lark Hill on Monday saw Enticing Star, wearing blinkers for the first time, sit just off the pace and round up her rivals to win by 1.5l.

"The right horse was there yesterday. That was her, that's as good as she needs to go," Durrant said.

"The zip was back in her legs, which wasn't there the Saturday before. I'm still baffled because she has been such a reliable horse for us throughout her career, to be so unreliable is just so out of character."

Blinkers applied

Durrant felt the use of blinkers would allow Enticing Star to settle closer to the speed in a race like the Winterbottom, where there will likely be a big field.

"To be honest, I don't think the blinkers did a huge amount. Maybe had her that little bit closer when you watch the replay, they went pretty slick and that's all they (the blinkers) need to do," he said.

"She runs 32-second sectionals, which most horses can’t do shot out of a gun." - Adam Durrant

"They are not going to make her any quicker. You can’t possibly go any quicker than what she does when she is on song. She runs 32-second sectionals, which most horses can’t do shot out of a gun."

Adam Durrant (left) with Electra Bloodstock's James Christie

"The blinkers, what they might do, is have her that little bit more focussed and not having her flopping along at the back of the field, like she can do. We'll just see how she progresses. But we are pretty happy that she can bounce back."

Exhibit looks to make Railway impression

Looking to this week, Star Exhibit (Statue of Liberty) goes around for Durrant and owners Bob and Sandra Peters in the G1 Kirin Railway S.

A winner of the G2 Perth Cup in late 2016, he only recently returned to the track after a campaign with Darren Weir on the eastern seaboard in 2017.

He is one of the outsiders for the race, but Durrant is hopeful he can make his presence felt after two reasonable runs back.

"He had a little while off, don’t forget, and it’s taken a while to trim him up and get him fit." - Adam Durrant

Star Exhibit winning at Caulfield

"This horse is building. I don’t think he can win, but I think he is a top five or six chance and then he can keep progressing onto the other races," he said.

"I'm really happy with him and he's kept improving with every run. He had a little while off, don’t forget, and it’s taken a while to trim him up and get him fit."

"We are hoping he can bounce back on Saturday and start earning a cheque."

It wouldn't be the first upset that Durrant has pulled off in the Railway S. having won the race with $21 shot Mr Moet (Mosayter {USA}) in 2012.