Group One winner Imperatriz is on track to head to the Gr.1 Railway (1200m) at Te Rapa on New Year’s Day following her 850m trial at Te Awamutu on Tuesday.
She was given a quiet hit-out by leading hoop Opie Bosson, and trainer Mark Walker said he will step her out one more time before she commences her summer preparation next month.
“She just had a quiet day out and she will trial again before she heads to the Railway,” Walker said.
Imperatriz was joined in her trial by stablemate Stella Splendida, who is set to resume next week following her seventh placed run in the Gr.3 Soliloquy Stakes (1400m) in October.
“She runs at Manawatu on Saturday-week and then we will work it out after that. She has only had three starts but is showing promise,” Walker said.
Group One winner On The Bubbles finished third in his 1150m heat behind Group One performer Field Of Gold, and Walker said they are taking a quiet approach with the four-year-old gelding this preparation.
“I think there is a fair bit of improvement to come. He will probably trial again and then we will see when we go to the races,” he said.
Walker had an army of triallists on Tuesday but it was Group One winner Maven Belle who impressed him the most with her runner-up effort in her 850m heat.
The daughter of Burgundy had a standout juvenile season, winning the Gr.1 Manawatu Sires’ Produce Stakes (1400m), Gr.2 Matamata Breeders’ Stakes (1200m), and Gr.3 Platinum Homes 2YO Classic (1200m), with her only defeat coming in the Gr.1 Sistema Stakes (1200m) where she was third to Lickety Split, and will kick-off her three-year-old campaign next month.
“I thought Maven Belle was particularly good,” Walker said.
“They are going to have a Group and Listed trial before the Matamata races, so she will go there and then she will aim towards the Almanzor Trophy (Gr.3, 1200m) on Karaka Million night.”
Meanwhile, Walker is looking forward to heading to Te Rapa on Saturday where he will have a strong hand in the Gr.3 SkyCity Hamilton Waikato Cup (2400m) courtesy of Aromatic and Self Obsession.
The pair secured the quinella in the Gr.3 Counties Cup (2100m) last start and Walker said the weather will once again play an important factor ahead of this weekend’s feature.
“Self Obsession and Aromatic are well ahead of the Waikato Cup,” Walker said.
“I think 2400m suits Self Obsession particularly well, but It depends if all that rain gets there, so it will be interesting.
“In the Counties Cup it was really that rain that came before the race that helped Aromatic (win).”