Ronchi performed well in his Te Rapa dress rehearsal ahead of a step up to the main stage in Hamilton on Saturday.

The four-year-old will make his second bid for group one honours in the Herbie Dyke Stakes after he was unplaced in the event last season.

"He's very well and we took him to Te Rapa last Saturday for a gallop between races," said Allan Peard, who trains the son of Stravinsky with Bruce Wallace.

The winner of five races and a group placegetter, Ronchi finished sixth after an interrupted run in the group two Rich Hill Mile two starts back and he was then sixth in an open handicap at Pukekohe Park.


"He got cut off at the 1400 and to be fair he was a run short that day," Peard said. "A little bit of rain would be spot on for him."

Meanwhile, the stable will saddle a strong winning chance at Ellerslie today when Dragon Dancer runs in the Westbury Club 1200.

The O'Reilly four-year-old came back from a lengthy break last time out to finish sixth at Ellerslie behind the group one contender Savile Row.

"He's had a few niggly things that have held us up," Peard said.

"He ran fourth in the Champagne Stakes as a two-year-old and then he won his next two at three before injury problems.

"The draw is a bit of a worry at Ellerslie, but he's a nice horse and he's ready."

- NZ Racing Desk