The surprise package of the New Zealand training ranks has won one battle with stable star Tavi Mac but that may simply lead to a bigger battle.
Taranaki trainer Allan Sharrock has been on fire in the the first months of the season, with his nine wins from 20 starters seeing him lead the national premiership. His strike rate a winner every 2.22 starters.
Sharron knows that can't continue but he has scored another victory simply getting Tavi Mac into Saturday's $100,000 Valachi Downs Foxbridge Plate at Te Rapa.
Tavi Mac was ranked 13th after nominations yesterday so with 14 to run he will get his chance at Group2 level against the likes of Avantage and Julius, a remarkable rise up the ranks for the pony-sized galloper with the oddly long back.
Although he looks like an equine sausage dog, Tavi Mac is a brave and fast sausage dog with seven wins from 10 starts.
"We call him Frodo [stable name] and when you consider what he was when I first saw him in the paddock to what he is now, you wouldn't believe how far he has come," says Sharrock.
"But he is a really good racehorse and that is why he deserves his chance at this."
Michael McNab will ride Tavi Mac for the first time on Saturday, with Sharrock realising an off track will give him his best chance of achieving his next, even more ambitious goal.
Tavi Mac sits 29th in order of entry for the $200,000 Tarzino at Hastings in two weeks so needs to finish first or second on Saturday to win his way into the first Group 1 of the season.
A horse with similar aspirations but less chance of achieving them is last season's speed freak filly Bavella, who trialled enormously, beating Bostonian a month ago but looks set to be left in the ballot for the Foxbridge.
"She looks like being the third emergency but if she gets into the field she will start," says trainer Lance Noble. "She has come back a far better mare and we realise our best and maybe only chance of getting her into the Tarzino is through the Foxbridge this week."
The field for the Foxbridge comes out around lunchtime today and favourite Avantage will have a change of rider with Danielle Johnson to ride.
Johnson has already won two Group 1s and a Group 3 on Avantage but Opie Bosson, who rides Prise De Fer on Saturday, is certain to be back on Avantage for the Tarzino and the other legs of the Hawke's Bay Triple Crown.
Another Tarzino candidate in last season's Filly of the Year Jennifer Eccles trialled brilliantly over 1200m at Ruakaka yesterday and will go to Hawkes Bay fresh up.