High Distinction could provide his rookie trainer with a first success if the three-year-old runs up to his trial form at Te Aroha today.
The son of Zacinto will debut in the Mainfreight Maiden 1000 for Matamata horseman Cody Cole, who shares in the ownership of the gelding with his Te Kauwhata-based parents Tony and Lou and his sister Celia.
"I'm the fourth generation of my family to hold a trainer's licence so I'd like to give it a decent nudge," he said.
High Distinction has won consecutive trials at Avondale, the last of them in the hands of Samantha Collett, who will take the ride at Te Aroha. "He's got enough ability, but he's got a couple of spurs in his knees so we've been a bit careful with him," the 26-year-old said.
"He's failed the vet a couple of times after we had him sold."
Cole nearly made the perfect start to his training career with his first runner when Fortius finished a close third at Avondale last week. "He's a big horse who has matured now so hopefully he can go on with it, it was a very good fresh-up run," Cole said.
Placed in eight of his 11 appearances, Fortius was previously trained by Tony Cole before a spell with Donna Logan and Chris Gibbs.
- NZ Racing Desk