Stephen McKee's talented two-year-old pair of Hasahalo and Star Treasure are both making good strides toward their first Group One challenge.
"They had a freshen-up after the Karaka Million and I didn't want to run either of them at Matamata so they will go straight into the Diamond," the Ardmore trainer said. "They're both doing very well."
The Gr.1 Sistema Diamond Stakes will be run at Ellerslie on March 11 and their respective performances there will determine whether they feature in the Gr.1 Courtesy Ford Manawatu Sires' Produce Stakes at Awapuni on April 1.
Hasahalo fared the better in the Karaka Million when she came from the back of the field to finish runner-up while Star Treasure was a solid fifth.
"They took the speed out of the race in the middle stages and that didn't help either of them," McKee said.
Meanwhile, he has been delighted and relieved to see their stablemate Prince Mambo belatedly turn his form around.
His win at Te Rapa two runs back was his first for three years – his previous success had been in the Listed Matamata Slipper of 2014 – and he struck again at New Plymouth last Saturday.
"It was about time, he was close to his last warning," McKee said.
"We put the blinkers back on him, he hadn't had them on for a couple of years, and he's back to his old self.
"He'll have his next run in a Rating 85 mile during the carnival at Ellerslie."