He’s spent more time away from home than he has at it in recent months, but Mark Purdon couldn’t turn down the opportunity to get behind one of his most exciting prospects on a fleeting return last week.
And, concerningly for rivals of Enhance Your Calm this week at Addington, and for the rest of the season, the champion horseman couldn’t have been any more impressed.
Purdon had a steer on the strapping three-year-old trotter to give him the final all clear to return to the races this week after a leg injury following a fresh up victory in the Orari Challenge Stakes at Geraldine at the beginning on February.
“It wasn’t anything serious, he just sprained it,” Purdon said.
“But it was enough for us to want to back off him for a bit. He’s got a big few months ahead of him.
“He’s good now though; I had the chance to drive him last Saturday and thought he felt fantastic.”
A winner of six from six thus far in his career, Enhance Your Calm was the dominant force of the two-year-old ranks last season and if he looked good then, there’s even higher hopes now.
“We pushed on to the Jewels with him last season, but he had probably had enough by then.
“But with a good break in him he’s really grown and strengthened and looks and feels great.”
He resumes this week in the Sires’ Stakes Prelude, which also includes Hambletonian winner, Lotamuscle, but punters won’t be expecting much to change on the picket fence form line this week and Purdon seemed reasonably confident of a big showing.
“On what I felt when I drove him, and the reports I’ve had, he’s right back on song and you’d expect a pretty bold display from him this week.”
Whether there is a trotter around that has the all-round game to push Enhance Your Calm this season remains to be seen, but if there is – he might not have to look too far to find him.
Across the paddock sits the exciting Oscar Bonavena who Purdon said is progressing nicely.
“He’s just come back into work recently and is coming up just as we would like. The goal will be to have him at the races next month for the Derby.”
Purdon, and his training partner Natalie Rasmussen will ease themselves back into ‘mainland’ life this weekend with four runners at Addington and then two down south at Wyndham on Saturday.
Fillies, Bubbled Up and Kayla Marie will be out to lower Wainui Creek on Friday night while Letterkenny Boy will be out for redemption after getting wiped out down south last week.
At Wyndham, both Copperfield and Flying Even Bettor give the stable a strong hand as they chase their sixth Kindergarten Stakes success in the past seven years.