Peter McKay is hoping any feelings of deja vu with Barcelo continues well into the youngster's three-year-old season.

The Matamata trainer plans to follow a familiar path with the gelding and a programme that will ideally lead to Christchurch for the group one Sothys New Zealand 2000 Guineas.

McKay produced Barcelo to win the Tavistock Syndicate Owners' 2YO, a race he won last year with Amarula who then progressed to claim the group two Hawke's Bay Guineas, finished runner-up in the group two Sarten Memorial and ran seventh in the Riccarton feature.

"He's out of a Zabeel mare that won three races so that will help him when he gets up to a mile," said McKay, who also trained Barcelo's sire Alamosa for multiple group one success.


"I'm not sure if he's got the smarts of Amarula, but he really does try hard and that will carry him a long way."

Barcelo scored his maiden victory at Ruakaka where he travelled well behind the pace for McKay's son Shaun before rounding off strongly in the run home to win by three quarters of a length.

"We'll come back here in a month for the three-year-old race in early August and go on from there," McKay senior said.

Barcelo's win was well-deserved as he had placings behind the talented trio of Honey Rider, Ugo Foscolo and Ichiban from his previous three outings.

Yesterday's runner-up Barabas also showed he had a bright future with a brave first-up performance from a wide gate to take second from Bruce Arthur, with the winner's stablemate Tyrion giving a good account of himself with his debut fourth.

- NZ Racing Desk.