Charles Road was due to return home last night after going a long way toward realising his staying potential in Australia.
His Matamata trainers believe the trip will prove a coming of age experience for the four-year-old, who excelled in both of his Sydney outings.
"We were all very proud of him and he left it all out on the track, he tries so hard," said Andrew Scott, who prepares the gelding with Lance O'Sullivan for owner David Archer.
"He's one of the big improvers and the trip will be the making of him. There's a lot of improvement to come."
Charles Road won the Gr.2 Chairman's Quality (2600m) at Randwick and backed up strongly last Saturday to finish third in the Gr.1 Sydney Cup (3200m). He banked more than A$265,000 from his two appearances.
"He has lacked experience and maturity, but this season he has gone forward and really hardened up," Scott said.
"He'll get home and go out to David Archer's property for a well-deserved break and we'll work out a spring plan in due course."
Meanwhile, the stable has a number of promising younger horses engaged at Matamata today.
The prospect of a heavy track has Stella Daze (NZ Bloodstock Pearl Series 1600m) and Inigo Montoya (Matamata Glass & Joinery 1600m) rated among their best prospects.
"I think Stella Daze will handle it, she's got a bit of racing and fitness on her side and Inigo Montoya raced through the summer and is still going very well," Scott said.
• Unforgotten's victory in the Gr.1 Australian Oaks (2400m) provided a pair of New Zealand racing identities with a result to savour. Carol Marshall and Nessie Paykel raced her sister Special Memories and they are now breeding from the daughter of Fastnet Rock and the Galileo mare Memories Of You.
Special Memories was purchased for them by Te Akau principal David Ellis from the draft of Curraghmore for $400,000 at Karaka in 2014.
"Nessie and I were over the moon with the win by Unforgotten, you'd think that we owned her, and it's made Special Memories a very valuable mare," Marshall said. "Funnily enough, it was Nessie's birthday on Saturday. She was 95, so it's a big boost for her.
"David sorted her out for us to buy and it ended up being between Love Triangle, an Encosta De Lago filly that Te Akau trained for Coolmore, and Special Memories. Both fillies sold for the same amount and we actually went over our budget by $100,000 so we were very lucky to get her, really."
Special Memories won two races and ran third in the Listed Armadillo Stakes (1600m) and fourth in the Gr.1 New Zealand 1000 Guineas (1600m).
"She was a filly that had it all as a yearling - beautiful temperament, terrific walk, quite precocious and a fantastic pedigree," Ellis said.
"Carol was an exceptionally good trainer of horses in her own right, including $1 million earner Giovana, and being asked to select a horse for her and Nessie was an honour.
"Nessie is the wife of the late Maurice Paykel, who founded Fisher & Paykel. He was a great racing man and the father of David Paykel, who we trained Zarzuela for and she was one of the best fillies we've ever trained." Special Memories is in foal to Cambridge Stud stallion Tavistock and a decision on this season's breeding plan will be made in the next six weeks.
Unforgotten was also sold at Karaka by Curraghmore with Chris Waller purchasing her for $360,000 through his bloodstock agent Guy Mulcaster.
- NZ Racing Desk