Encke going for Leger impact
Time/Date - 15.40hrs/Saturday, September 15, 2012
Racecourse/Country - Doncaster/UK
Surface/Distance - Turf/1m 6f 132y
Encke steps up to Group One company for the final Classic of the British season, the Ladbrokes St Leger, over one mile, six furlongs and 132 yards at Doncaster on Saturday, September 15.
The three-year-old son of Kingmambo, trained by Mahmood Al Zarooni, kept on to come well in third behind the winner Thought Worthy and second Main Sequence in the Group Two Neptune Investment Management Great Voltigeur Stakes over a mile and a half at York on August 22. He was beaten two and a quarter lengths.
He went down by a nose over the same distance in the Group Three bet365 Gordon Stakes at Glorious Goodwood on July 31 and made winning seasonal return with a half-length verdict in a 10-furlong handicap at Sandown Park on July 6.
Encke enjoyed a four and a half-length success in a mile Newmarket maiden in October and was runner-up on his career debut in another mile maiden at Doncaster in September, 2011. Mickael Barzalona, who has partnered Encke on all three of his starts this year, is in the saddle again.
Mahmood Al Zarooni said: "Encke is doing well and he goes into the Ladbrokes St Leger in the same form as when he was third at York. "He has been a little unlucky in his two most recent starts, as he didn't really handle the course at Goodwood and the pace of the race at York didn't suit him.
"This will be the biggest test of his career and we still don't know how good he really is. He has never been in a Group One contest before but I think that he will run a good race - he is a tough horse who always gives his everything.
"The distance will be fine for him and he seems to cope with most types of ground. We can dream of beating Camelot but anything can happen in this game and our horse deserves to take his chance."
Encke lines up against eight colts including unbeaten Camelot, who is bidding to become the first horse in 42 years to win the British Triple Crown following victories in the QIPCO 2,000 Guineas and the Investec Derby, Main Sequence, Thought Worthy and bet365 Gordon Stakes third Michelangelo.
Godolphin has won the Ladbrokes St Leger five times, thanks to Classic Cliche (1995), Nedawi (1998), Mutafaweq (1999), Rule Of Law (2004) and Mastery (2009).