Peter Lock has an eye on the Brisbane winter carnival for his late bloomer Hiflyer.
The Te Aroha trainer has the talented son of Tavistock back in work with a tentative plan to head to Queensland later this year.
"He missed the good three-year-old races here because he wasn't mentally or physically ready for them," Lock said.
Hiflyer has a win and two placings from his three starts and he was turned out after he was narrowly beaten by the subsequent group three Desert Gold Stakes winner Duchess Kate at Ellerslie in December.
"He's had three weeks on the water walker at Brad Peterson's place and I've had him back here for a couple of weeks now," Lock said.
"He's ticking over beautifully and looks fantastic. He's filled out a bit, but the main thing is he's come back more settled and mentally matured. We'll potter around here and give him a quiet trial somewhere and decide after that if he has a run or whether we go straight to Brisbane."
Lock is confident of success at Matamata today with Gotta Keeper in the Viadana Syndicate 2100. The winner of consecutive races over ground in the spring, his run when resuming earlier this month after a three-month break was better than it looked.
"When he took off he went via the cape and he wasn't that far off them at the finish," Lock said. "He's done extremely well since and I expect a bold showing [today] and then we can have a crack at the Te Aroha Cup."
- NZ Racing Desk