Ohoka Texas, who equalled the track record for a mile of 1.54.1 at Winton 12 months ago, will come in for close attention on his return visit there for the Wairio Trotting Club programme of mile races tomorrow.
Ohoka Texas has had three races in much stronger company in a fresh campaign, displaying speed to finish fourth in the Maurice Holmes Vase at Addington and the Hannon Memorial at Oamaru.
Matt Maguire, who finished second to Ohoka Texas last year, is again among his rivals.
Ultimate Player, now trained by owner Murray Swain, is starting afresh. Swain claimed Ultimate Player after the gelding recorded his fifth win at Addington in July. Ultimate Player was then trained by Brendon Hill.
Ultimate Player has not raced since he finished second to Motu Speedy Star in the Kurow Cup at his subsequent start.
Matt Maguire is among several prospects for the stable of Cran Dalgety, the leading trainer this season with 20 wins, a lead of five over Robert Dunn. Christian Creek, Mac Bubbles, Huntaway Mach, Flying Anvil and Sonatina give Dalgety and stable reinsman Dexter Dunn a strong hand.
Lauramegan, a winner for the stable at Addington on September 20 in her only start, is now trained by Robert Dunn. The 3-year-old filly is engaged in race 10 at the Timaru meeting tomorrow.
Ayemmpee (race 5 at Timaru) is now trained by John Howe. Ayemmpee was a winner two starts back at Addington when trained by Gavin Smith.
El Skipper has his first start for Geoff and Jude Knight in race 5 at Winton. He was a winner at Oamaru in January when trained by Robbie Holmes. Alta Christiano has been scratched at the Wairio meeting due to a blood disorder.
Flyin Courage will race at Washdyke in preference to Winton. Runner up to Jess Jaccka at Forbury Park fresh up eight days ago, Flyin Courage may have the edge in an eight-horse field.By Taylor Strong