A good blow-out at Gore last week was just ideal for Recording going into his open handicap at Kurow tomorrow.
The chestnut Stravinsky gelding was third at Gore on Sunday, 1.1 lengths behind Infallible in the open sprint over 1335m, and Wingatui trainer Steven Prince said everything pointed towards an improvement this week.
"It was a very good run the other day - he actually blew a bit when he pulled up," Prince said.
"He hadn't had a run for a month and he takes a bit of racing, but he went pretty good the other day, I thought."
The barrier gods have not been kind to Recording, drawing the outside gate in the 12-horse field, and Prince is hoping jockey Toni Direen, who recovered quickly from a fall at Timaru yesterday to continue her riding duties, can work some magic.
"We'll probably ride him midfield and hopefully she can get over on him and a couple of kilos off him will help, too."
Direen's 2kg claim brings her down to 53kg for the ride.
Prince is saddling up two other runners at Kurow and the ace draw should play into the hands of Pinot Express in the fifth event.
A clever ride from Ashley Frye on Petty Lane at Ascot Park on December 15 gave Pinot Express almost no hope of winning the rating 85 mile, especially after drawing barrier 12 and giving jockey Chris Johnson few options.
"She got too far back from the draw," Prince said.
"Even Chris said that when he came back in - he was further back than he wanted to be, and he didn't have any luck [between the 800m and 400m] and he didn't have much room in the straight, so he said it was a good run, really."
Pinot Express unwound nicely to win at Winton on November 21, despite losing a shoe during the running, and Prince said new jockey Jamie Bullard would be able to use the draw to stay close to the leaders.
"The draw will be good - she races up there [near the front] a wee bit, so it'll be fine."
Lemon Honey's eighth at Ascot Park is better than the figure indicates, finishing off the race well to end up 2.8 lengths off the winner, Sucre.
Direen takes over the ride on the Thorn Park mare from Ross Doherty, who got stuck out wide at Ascot Park.By Matt Smith