A comfortable trial performance at Te Awamutu last month could provide punters with the best guide to a winner at tomorrow's rescheduled Waipa Racing Club meeting.
Heavy rain and surface flooding caused the postponement of the meeting which was set to run last Friday. Conditions have improved markedly however a heavy surface will still be in evidence, one that Te Aroha trainer Peter Lock has been keen to see for his progressive three-year-old Dougie who steps out in the last race on the programme.
Successful in one of his 3 starts to date, the Keeper gelding has been kept on ice by Lock as he waited for the tracks to soften.
"He showed us plenty when he won on his home track back in September last year," he noted.
"We had big plans for him including a possible Derby campaign but he really felt the ground when he ran down the track at Ellerslie in December.
"That put a halt to those summer plans so we put him aside to wait until we got more suitable ground for him."
Dougie made his first appearance since his Ellerslie failure at the Waipa trials on 18 April and finished second to Straight Sets in an open heat over 850 metres.
"He ran home nicely under his own steam so we were delighted to see that," said Lock.
"He has come on nicely although whatever he does will only benefit him. We think he is a horse that can go through the grades so I'm looking forward to getting this first one under his belt."
Lock also advised that promising sprinter/miler Mr Luigi will return to full work this week after recovering from a nasty incident following his trial win at Ellerslie in early May.
"We had a problem with him after his trial due to the heavy traffic on the way home," he said.
"It was stop start all the way and he managed to pull a shoe and then stand on it in the float. He did a bit of damage so we have poulticed the hoof for a week and he is ready to come back into work.
"It has put us behind the eight ball a little but I'm still happy with him.
"We want to get another win with him then look at some of the better open grade races where he should get in on the minimum weight. Hopefully a race like the Opunake Cup in July will be on his agenda as I think he is good enough to win something like that."