Blathwayt is at his best over middle distances, but recent signs point to a bold first-up showing at the Manawatu meeting today.

The seven-year-old has been freshened since Christmas and he makes his return over 1400 metres in the Carters Ashhurst Pohangina Cup at Woodville.

By the stakes winner's own standards, Blathwayt was performing below his best last preparation.

"He was okay, but he wasn't really himself.

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"On his day he is a very smart horse," trainer Alby MacGregor said.

"He's fairly forward for Saturday and the girl [Vicky Lackner] that rides him, she's also got a share in the horse, said he feels better now than he has for a long time. He's working more like his old self so I think he has turned the corner."

Blathwayt and his stablemate Awatane turned in a solid gallop between races at Tauherenikau on Waitangi Day.

"Robbie Hannam rode Blathwayt for me and he was very happy with his work," MacGregor said.

Ryan Elliot has been booked for the mount today and the visiting apprentice will also be aboard Awatane, who only requires a change in fortune to be a leading chance in the Rowden Electrical Handicap.

The Per Incanto gelding followed up a debut win with a placing.

He has suffered interrupted runs in both of his subsequent starts at Trentham.

"He's had no luck in his last two, but that's how it goes in this game sometimes, and he's working along nicely as well," MacGregor said.

- NZ Racing Desk