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Enderby Spirit

Enderby Spirit put up a much-improved effort compared to his last few starts in the Class 2 Sovereign Health Care Handicap over six furlongs at Doncaster on Friday. Settled on the far side from his draw in stall six, probably the slowest part of the track for this meeting, Enderby Spirit was bustled up to join the front rank just over two furlongs out and took up the running a furlong and a half out. So well was he able to accelerate that he went into a near two-length lead over his 20 rivals before he was worn down by Mac’s Power and Esprit De Midas, who had both been held up right out the back of the field and who both raced on the near side.

While you have to say Jim Crowley went for home a touch too early on board Enderby Spirit, it is very hard to criticise the jockey in such a situation. Not only was Enderby Spirit widest of all on the course, there were so many runners that he had to really commit when he did. In all likelihood the strong-finishing Mac’s Power would have won the race even if Crowley had waited half a furlong longer on Enderby Spirit, but he would probably have been a good deal closer, even allowing for the fact that he was probably racing on the slowest part of the track. This was a welcome return to form for Enderby Spirit who is without a win to his name since July 2009. He has been slowly working his way down the handicap after gaining a high mark for some really good runs last season, most notably when only just behind subsequent Prix De L’Abbaye winner Total Gallery on two occasions. He could do better next time if held onto a little longer or perhaps if dropped to five furlongs. Either way this was a highly encouraging effort in first-time cheek pieces (replacing the usual visor) and he is surely capable of winning off a similar mark to this (the handicapper left him on his mark of 90), 14lb below his highest mark of last summer.

22nd October 2010