Success in the feature event at his local meeting on Thursday would provide trainer Shane Brown with a huge degree of satisfaction.
His hopes in the Bambry’s Water Treadmill Woodville Cup (2100m) rest with the promising four-year-old Handfull.
“He’s ready to step up in trip now,” Brown said. “It’s a really nice race for him and it would be fantastic to win it.”
Handfull has only raced beyond a mile twice in his career for a runner-up finish over 1900m at Wairoa last season and a creditable seventh, finishing less than four lengths off the winner Charles Road, in the Gr.3 Manawatu Classic (2000m).
This term, Handfull ran three consecutive seconds before he won at Awapuni on a Premier day and most recently he was fourth at Trentham behind the talented Eagle Bay.
“At his last start he led and that’s not his go,” Brown said. “He was going to get caught three wide so Dylan (Turner) did the right thing and let him slide forward.
“He’s a much better horse chasing and from barrier one he should get a lovely run. I don’t see the 2100m being an issue.
“If he goes really well tomorrow, it’s in the back of my mind to have a look at the Wairoa Cup.”
Brown will also produce Dalla Mosa to debut in the MCI & Associates Maiden (1200m).
“She’s a really nice filly and she’ll win a race pretty quickly, I’m just not sure if it will be tomorrow – it might be a bit short for her,” he said.
Brown also trained Dalla Mosa’s mother Don’t Dilly Dally, a daughter of the Group One winner Plume.
“She had a lot of ability, but unfortunately she broke down in the Manawatu Breeders’ Stakes,” he said.