Splendido's connections have designs on making the three-year-old's first victory a memorable one.

He has yet to break his duck in seven starts this season, but he is a stakes performer and will be making his second appearance at the elite level when he takes his place in the BMW New Zealand Derby on Saturday week.

"He's perfect, right on target," said trainer Bruce Wallace's foreman Allan Peard.

Runner-up in the Listed BMW Salver, Splendido was then sixth when beaten four lengths by Kawi in the Zabeel Classic and he has finished runner-up at his last two outings.


"He was three wide the whole trip without cover last Saturday and only just got run down and his worst performance was in the group one," Peard said. Currently a $31 hope in the Derby market, Splendido is raced by Wallace with Mark Wyborn, who is also a part-owner of the $8 chance Provocative.

Meanwhile, the stable will have a small team at Avondale today with Society Princess and First of A Kind rated their best hopes.

The former goes into the NZB Insurance Pearl Series race off the back of a third placing on the course last time out. Cameron Lammas will ride her and Grant Cooksley is booked for First of A Kind, a winner three runs back, in the Racing Next 9 March Handicap.

"Society Princess and First of A Kind have both gone the right way since their last runs and should be competitive," Peard said.

- NZ Racing Desk