Peter Lock is rethinking the path Hiflyer will take to Trentham for next month's Gr.3 Thompson Handicap (1600m).
The Te Aroha trainer had pencilled in the Gr.3 Spring Sprint (1400m) at Hastings on Saturday week as the Tavistock gelding's final lead-up outing, but a race closer to home may now be the preferred option.
"It's not about the money, it's about placing him in the right race and if we go to Hastings he's going to have another big trip after that to Wellington," Lock said.
"He's a lightly-framed horse and I don't want to get to the bottom of him. There's a race at Te Rapa the day before Hastings and, at this stage, I'm leaning toward that open 1400m.
"There's no need to over-tax him - we've also got Sir Patrick's race, the Zabeel Classic, a bit later on at the back of our minds for him." Sir Patrick and Justine, Lady Hogan bred Hiflyer and remain in the ownership.
Runner-up in last season's Gr.2 Easter Stakes (1600m), the five-year-old recently resumed at Ruakaka where he finished second over 1200m. "It was a huge run fresh-up and he's come through it nicely," Lock said. Meanwhile, the stable will be represented by four runners at Avondale today - Boundary (Fasttrack Insurance 1370m), Cape Dancer (IRT 1200m), Brush Strokes (Hawkesbury Race Club 1200) and Dougie (Avondale Sunday Markets 1200m).
"Boundary went a good race last time and Brendon McCullum's got a share in her, hence the name," Lock said. "Cape Dancer went a nice trial and 1200m is a bit short, but I still expect him to go well.
"I'm very happy with Brush Strokes and Danielle Johnson's a top-line rider. Dougie needs 1400m to a mile, but he should go a good race."
- NZ Racing Desk