Top class sprinter-miler Turn Me Loose warmed up for another Melbourne campaign with a successful, and much-needed, outing at yesterday's Cambridge trials.
The Murray Baker and Andrew Forsman-trained star won his open 935m heat in the hands of Matt Cameron from the two-time group one winner Xtravagant and the winner's stablemate Honey Rider finished third.
"He's still a bit fat and he will take a lot of improvement from that," Forsman said. "He'll be going straight over to Australia."
Turn Me Loose's first-up run across the Tasman is likely to be in the group two Australia Stakes at Moonee Valley on January 27.
He will then step out in the group one C. F. Orr Stakes at Caulfield a fortnight later with the group one Futurity Stakes to follow at the same track on February 25. The son of Iffraaj is the defending Futurity champion. Turn Me Loose also has group one victories in the Emirates Stakes and in the New Zealand 2000 Guineas on his CV.
The stable were also thrilled with the performance of Honey Rider, who won the group three Gold Trail Stakes in the spring before she was side-lined after she was out of the money in the group two Sarten Memorial.
"We had to back off her after she jarred up at Te Rapa," Forsman said. "We haven't got any immediate plans for her, we'll just be looking to get more black type."
Splitting the Cambridge stablemates at the trials was the pre-post Telegraph favourite Xtravagant, who was ridden by Opie Bosson for trainers Stephen Autridge and Jamie Richards.
"We're really happy with him and the trial will bring him on for the Telegraph," Te Akau racing manager Brad Taylor said. "We know there is a bit more improvement in him and Opie said he had a good blow afterwards."
- NZ Racing Desk