Trainer Ken Kelso is expecting major improvement from Shoshone in the feature sprint at Te Rapa tomorrow.
Kelso, who trains in partnership with his wife Bev, is one of the more astute preparers in the country but was all but forced to extend Shoshone out to 1400m in her last race, even though he wasn't sure how she would handle it.
"I think the 1200m will suit her a lot better than the 1400m last start because she just didn't handle the trip," says the Matamata trainer.
"It was a listed race and the black-type tempted us to take her to Tauranga last start but she didn't stay the 1400m and we know that now.
"So back to the 1200m this weekend on a heavy track, I think that suits her and I think she will go better."
Shoshone is rated only a 78 horse but she looks a true open sprinter on winter tracks, with all four of her wins coming on soft or heavy, her ability to handle the wet shared by so many of the stock of her late sire Sacred Falls.
She was impressive when second fresh-up at Te Rapa three starts ago, probably not suited by the firmer track at Ellerslie her next start and didn't cop the 1400m last time, but she appears to find herself in her sweet spot tomorrow.
That and the fact she has premiership winner Danielle Johnson in the saddle from barrier two, which should enable her to stay handy and dictate her own line on the winter track, suggests she is a great each-way bet after opening at $5.50.
Still, it is a quality field for a winter sprint with Central Districts visitor Justaskme able, Dawn Patrol proven at far higher levels, Crystallize ideally suited by tomorrow's conditions and Palm Springs on a steep improvement curve.
The Kelsos also have two each-way chances in the last race on the card in Henry Hudson and Diamond Delight.
"Henry Hudson is dropping back from 2100m to 1400m and the question will be whether we have been able to freshen him up enough for that," says the trainer.
"So while they are both chances I think Diamond Delight might be our better chance.
"She was impressive winning two starts ago and then a good fifth in a strong three-year-old race here last start."
Meanwhile, the Kelso's stable star Levante is still spelling but due back in work soon.
"With the way the tracks can be here in the spring we are in no rush to get her back because we won't be aiming at the Foxbridge or the Hawke's Bay Triple Crown.
"Her targets will be after that and we will see how she comes up before we start discussing things like an Australian campaign."