A group one victory is top of mind for trainers Michael Moroney and Pam Gerard with talented three-year-old Harlech.
The group two winner put in a gallant performance last start to finish second behind star galloper Catalyst in the group one New Zealand 2000 Guineas (1600m) at Riccarton last month and his connections are keen to get an elite level victory before he heads across the Tasman.
Moroney is looking forward to eventually getting Harlech to Australia to not only chase the big money on offer but also boost his profile.
"He'll end up in Aussie, but at this stage he's going to stay in New Zealand for a while," Moroney said.
"He's been freshened since Riccarton and will run at Ellerslie on Boxing Day over 1400m then go down to Trentham for the group one mile.
"Being a colt, we're concentrating on trying to win a group one with him."
Harlech's Boxing Day mission is the Listed Shaw's Wires Ropes Uncle Remus Stakes (1400m) and his Trentham goal on January 11, the group one Levin Classic (1600m).
"After Trentham he will possibly stay on for the Karaka Million 3YO Classic [1600m]," Moroney said.
"He's nominated for the New Zealand Derby [group one, 2400m], but we're not sure about that. He will probably be coming over here instead. It's most likely he would go up to Sydney, but there is the Australian Guineas [group one, 1600m) here in Melbourne. We'll work that out when he gets here."
Harlech, a son of Darci Brahma, has won twice, including the group two James and Annie Sarten Memorial Stakes (1400m) at Te Rapa, and been placed three times from six starts.
"Each year we've been picking out a nice colt to leave in New Zealand to race early on," Moroney said. "The first year it was Arrogant and then last year it was Harlech. So far we've got it right."
- NZ Racing Desk