Enchanted by name and enchanted by nature; NSW young star Ella Enchanted is taking on Victoria’s big guns at Sandown Park in a heat of the Group One Sapphire Crown tonight.
NSW trainer Darren Sultana believes that her 29.48sec run at Wentworth Park may be the reason people have taken notice of the daughter of Don’t Knocka Him and Ella Lezah. But it wasn’t the only reason he nominated for the Sapphire Crown heats.
Rather, to divide and conquer with the greyhounds Darren and his father Victor train, which includes Ella Enchanted’s talented litter sister Sky Wave who is in the midst of a Richmond Riches Puppy Classic campaign.
Sky Wave is so far the stand out of the Don’t Knocka Him and Ella Lezah litter, having won 12 races from 19 starts which includes the Group Three Nowra Puppy Classic (520m).
Tonight the Sultana kennel will be solely focussed on Ella Enchanted who will jump from box six in the first of four Group One Sapphire Crown heats which are run over the 515 metre distance.
“I think she will have to run 29.30s to make it through to the Sapphire considering Dyna Patty can run 29.20s at Sandown,” trainer Darren Sultana said.
“Ella Enhanced has good track sense for a young dog, she really uses her head and is showing real strength in her short time over 500 which is indicating that she will probably make a stayer.”
WATCH: Ella Enchanted stop the clock in 29.48 at Wentworth Park from box four.
Last start Group Three Speed Star winner, Dyna Patty is the TAB favourite in heat one of the Sapphire Crown, jumping from box two. The Ashlee Terry trained Burn Like Fire (box five) is currently second favourite paying $4.40, while Ella Enchanted sits at the $4.60 mark.
Darren Sultana is no stranger to group racing on Victorian soil and despite multiple attempts he is yet to crack group glory but Ella Enchanted may have the magic touch.
“I do think she is pretty special,” Sultana conceded.
Ella Enchanted heads into her first race start at Sandown having trialed last Thursday night after the last race stopping the clock at 29.54sec. The fastest out of the four 515 metres trials which saw Audi Key (29.78), Tristan Cannon (29.58) and Miss Splendamiro (29.54) go around on a wet track.
“Considering the weather, everyone said I should be happy with her run.”
Sultana and owner Mark Alati are not only excited about the racing future of Ella Enchanted, but her prospects in the breeding barn too.
“She is out of a really handy litter and it’s exciting to think of what kind of pup she can throw,” Sultana said.