Trainer Jamie Richards wishes all horses were as easy as Avantage, and not just because of the talent that should secure her Group 1 win No 7 at Otaki.
The outstanding mare will go past $2 million in stakes should she justify her $1.25 favouritism in the $200,000 WFA Classic, a Group 1 weight-for-age 1600m which looks perfect for Avantage.
She won the race last season and is racing even better this summer, having won the Railway, Telegraph and BCD Sprint, all Group 1 races, in the past two months.
Winning races at the highest level often comes with some mental or physical wear and tear or even just plain tiredness but Richards says Avantage loves being a racehorse.
"She is spot on, none of it bothers her," he told the Weekend Herald.
"She has been great all summer and she just works, eats, relaxes and then does it again.
"She doesn't seem to have the other niggles or issues some horses have from time to time and that makes her a real dream to train."
It also means punters considering making Avantage their multi bet anchor can do so with confidence, with Callsign Mav, who she beat by three-and-a-half lengths last start, the most logical and perhaps only danger.
While Richards expects Avantage to win at Otaki, he is slightly more puzzled by his own representation in the $70,000 Waikato Stud Slipper on his home track at Matamata.
It looks almost certain he will win the Group 3, and Karaka Million winner On The Bubbles has been heavily backed from $2.50 to $1.90 but it may not be quite that simple.
"He has the best record in the race but he has had a let-up since the Karaka Million and is here to get ready for the Sistema at Ellerslie [March 13]," said Richards.
"So that could make him vulnerable, as some of our Karaka Million winners or runners have been in this race in the past for the same reason."
If a stablemate like the well-drawn Sword Of State was able to lead, or trail a speedster like Dragon Biscuit on a steady tempo, they could win, but if the leaders fire up, then On The Bubbles could outclass them late.
There is depth to the Matamata card, with plenty of horses using the meeting to prepare for the two big Saturdays that lie ahead at Ellerslie's Cup week, starting next Saturday.
● While one Matamata star filly in Amarelinha won't be heading to next Saturday's New Zealand Derby at Ellerslie, another will.
Co-trainer Pam Gerard has confirmed Waikato Guineas winner Tokorangi will take on the boys in the $1 million Derby, the highlight of the first day of Cup week.