An awkward gate may be the only barrier to success for the promising Gorbachev at Awapuni on Saturday.
Trainer Bryce Newman sees the wide alley as the gelding's biggest problem in the Gr.3 Higgins Concrete Manawatu Classic.
"It's a short run to the first corner from the starting point so I'm not sure where we'll end up, but we won't be rushing him up from the start," Newman said.
"He showed at Trentham last time out that he's still green and didn't run straight, but if he's on the rail he's fine.
"He's still very much a work in progress, he's still got some growing up to do both mentally and physically."
Gorbachev has won two of his six starts with a defeat of the older horses over ground at Wanganui two runs back preceding an excellent effort for third over 2500 metres in the Listed New Zealand St Leger.
The winner at Trentham was the highly-rated stayer Rock On, who on Saturday will run in the Gr.2 Chairman's Handicap at Randwick.
"Obviously, we're in strong three-year-old company and we're back to 2000 metres, but he's very well and he can run on a wet track so he'll be taking his chance," Newman said.
A son of the ill-fated Group One performer Gorky Park, Gorbachev's form hasn't gone unnoticed by overseas suitors.
"There has been interest in him, but for the moment the owners have put that to one side and they're happy to be racing him," Newman said.
Safely through Saturday, Gorbachev is likely to have a trip away with Newman keen on a crack at the Gr.2 Valachi Downs Championship Stakes at Ellerslie on April 22.