New Zealand's 3-year-old ranks have proven to be an exciting crop to date this season and that excitement could increase at Matamata today when promising galloper Harlech kicks off his spring campaign.

Local trainers Pam Gerard and Michael Moroney have a lot of time for the son of Darci Brahma who had two starts as a juvenile, including a placing, before impressing with his 1020m trial win at Te Teko last month.

"I do like the horse," Gerard said. "We had a high opinion of him even as a 2-year-old. We put him straight into a stakes race where he was a little bit unlucky. He should of probably already have a stakes placing.

"He was very impressive in his trial. Obviously it's only a trial and it is hard to get a line on them, but Cameron (Lammas, jockey) was very happy with him and thinks he is pretty forward.


"I think he is a live chance of really being competitive in the 3-year-old races and the mile is going to be ideal for him."

He will attempt to clear maiden company in the Waharoa Transport Co (1995) Ltd 1200 today.

Gerard is pleased with the colt but believes the 1200m is well short of his best distance. Harlech has a number of black-type targets ahead of him this spring, including the Group 1 Al Basti Equiworld 4th NZ 2000 Guineas (1600m) at Riccarton in November.

Meanwhile, Gerard is also looking forward lining up another exciting prospect in the form of O'Reilly gelding Glenhope.

Gerard was weighing up whether to line up Glenhope at Hastings on Saturday, but said it was more than likely he would take his place in the Transport Mechanical 1400 at Matamata today.

- NZ Racing Desk