Southern Icon and Gwynethanne will chase down Group features at opposite ends of the country next month following their respective Te Rapa successes.
The former coasted away with yesterday's Group 1 Turf Bar 1200 to confirm a tilt at the Group 2 Lisa Chittick Foxbridge Plate on August 13.
"We have to try and win that to qualify for a start in the Makfi," part-owner and trainer Alan Tait said.
Southern Icon won three consecutive races at the end of his last campaign and he resumed in style with a bold performance that left no excuses for his rivals.
The four-year-old was behind the leader Aaja Nachle before he strode to the front a long way from home and cruised home by four lengths.
"He took a sit early, but he is the sort of horse you can't fight so I let him roll along and he did it easily," rider Mark Hills said.
Meanwhile, Gwynethanne has put herself into contention for the Group 3 Star Winter Cup at Riccarton on August 6 following her clear-cut win in the BNZ Partners Open 1600.
"She will probably go to stud next season and I said if she won this race then we would pay a late entry to the cup " that could be her swansong," trainer Karen Zimmerman said.
The winner of seven races and runner-up in the 2014 group two Travis Stakes, Gwynethanne sat at the tail of the field under rider Kelly McCullough who said she got the perfect drag into the race.
- NZ Racing Desk.