Wayne Hillis had pre-race worries on two fronts with Watch This Space at Tauranga, but neither amounted to anything as the four-year-old coasted to his first black-type victory.

The Matamata horseman, who prepares the gelding with Shaun Kesner, ended a frantic search for a jockey by booking Brendan Hutton for yesterday's group two Windsor Park Stud Japan/NZ International Trophy and then had concerns about the heavy going.

"Reese Jones rode him last time and then his manager rang and said he couldn't make the 52kg," Hillis said.

He wasn't the only trainer struggling for a rider as the handicap conditions of the feature mile had all but Julinsky Prince on the minimum weight.


"We got Brendan in the end and he got the job done really well," Hillis said.

"I was worried about the track as well, he'd had one run on a slow track and struggled on it.

"He's had a few runs this time in and he'll go to the Easter and then go out for a break."

Watch This Space sat third on the outer before Hutton made his move across the top to hit the lead on straightening.

"He travelled beautifully and kept on kicking," he said. "It was a great training performance on the seven-day back-up."

Nigelissima was a solid third in her first appearance for five months and the resuming Candle In The Wind also made some late ground to finish fourth.

Meanwhile Nymph Monte has booked himself a return to stakes company after he barely raised a sweat at Tauherenikau in winning the Kuripuni Sports Bar and TAB Masterton Cup.

Trainer and part-owner Grant Nicholson now has next Saturday's Group two Awapuni Gold Cup in his sights with the Tavistock gelding.

"That was always the plan to back him up, as long as he comes through this well, and going forward we needed him to win like that and the jockey hopped off and said he did it easily," he said.

Nymph Monte was opposed by only three rivals and he disposed of them in clinical fashion under apprentice Leah Hemi.

She let the son of Tavistock stride to the front 600 metres from home and he was untested to score by four lengths from Antonio.

- NZ Racing Desk