Ella Enchanted highlights Prelude double for Ennis

Ella Enchanted qualified for the heats of the TAB Melbourne Cup last night, but connections have another big race target in mind for their versatile chaser.

Sent to the boxes as the well supported favourite, Ella Enchanted found the lead early from box 1 but soon engaged in a bumping duel with All In Baz and Milky Jones before settling third entering the back straight. Four lengths adrift at the second split, Ella Enchanted unleashed her customary finishing burst to rail beneath the lamp lighters and secure an impressive victory by a length over All In Baz.

All Prelude winners automatically qualify for a berth in the heats of the world’s greatest greyhound race, however co-trainer Jamie Ennis indicated that the group 1 Bold Trease over 715m, run on the same night as the TAB Melbourne Cup (515m), will be the long term goal for Ella Enchanted.

“She’s looking for more ground now,” he said after the win.

“She hadn’t done much work after she ran in the Topcat (over 725m at the Meadows in September) and she really needed the hit out last week. But she’ll step up in distance now, we’ll aim for the Hume Cup (group 1 over 600m at the Meadows) and then target the Bold Trease.”

Ennis, who trains in partnership with his wife Brooke, has already tasted success in the Hume Cup winning the 2014 edition with My Bro Fabio. My Bro Fabio retired with three group 1 wins and over $478,000 in prize money and is now making his mark at stud. In fact, last night was a banner day for his stud career with his progeny winning four of the night’s first six races.

Ella Enchanted’s win was the second leg of a winning double for Ennis after Belt Up Bubbs won his Prelude in 29.68. The other Prelude of the night was won impressively by Slingshot Hammer in 29.58.

TAB Melbourne Cup Prelude Series 3 is set for Thursday October 25. It promises to be strong with many of Victoria’s star sprinters set to return from New South Wales’ Million Dollar Chase series.

Ella Enchanted (1) unleashes late to win

Jamie Ennis after Belt Up Bubbs’ win

Brendan Pursell after Slingshot Hammer’s win