High domestic spring hopes are held for a New Zealand-bred galloper with an impressive overseas racing record.
Racing in Hong Kong as Packing Pins, the six-year-old won six of his 19 starts from the stable of Ricky Yiu and was Group placed before joining the Cambridge operation of Trevor and Martin Cruz.
The brothers' mother Angel now races the gelding, who has reverted to his original name of Packing Eagle, under which he initially won all three of his trials for Matamata trainers Ken and Bev Kelso before heading to Hong Kong.
"He was running over a mile in his last few starts there and I think that was too far for him," Trevor Cruz said.
"His owners thought it best to retire him, but he didn't have any injury and we were fortunate enough to get him.
"He's a very talented horse and he hasn't lost that hunger for racing."
The Waikato Stud-bred son of Pins and the Group winner Splashing Out showed that when he recently finished runner-up in an Avondale trial before the half-brother to the Gr.3 Darley Plate winner Splurge was turned out.
"I wanted to find out a bit more about him," Cruz said. "He can be a bit quirky so we trialled him as I wanted to see if he could handle some cut in the ground and he clearly did.
"That will be handy for the spring when it can still be quite wet. Hawke's Bay could come into the equation, he's quite an exciting horse and he'll be suited to weight-for-age.
"It all depends on his progress when he comes back in, he hasn't seen a paddock for a while and he's really enjoying himself at the moment."