Promising three-year-old I’mintowin has required careful handling and rewarded that approach last time out with a strong performance to break his maiden.
The son of Contributer has pleased trainers Peter and Dawn Williams since his breakthrough victory and will be given an early black-type opportunity when he steps out in the Gr.3 Mitchell Family Bonecrusher Stakes (1400m) at Pukekohe on Saturday.
I’mintowin was unplaced in his October debut at Avondale and showed significant improvement when he returned there earlier this month to finish strongly over 1200m to score with authority.
“We’re happy with him and he’s going along nicely. He just went a bit hard at his first start so we rode him back at his next one and let him come into the race on his own and he did it very well,” Peter Williams said.
“I think he will be better in the autumn and he’s still immature in his ways, but he’s certainly getting there.
“We’re just taking it a race at a time at this stage, he’s still a bit delicate.”
From the family of the Gr.1 TJ Smith Classic winner Reigning To Win, I’mintowin is raced by a syndicate that includes loyal stable client John Maclachlan.
“I’ve known John for a long time and trained for him when I was in the South Island, we go back a long way,” Williams said.
Stablemates Helsinki and Volare will also be in action at Pukekohe with the former to tackle the Dunstan Feeds Stayers’ Championship Qualifier (1500m).
The Savabeel five-year-old turned in two solid performances at the New Zealand Cup meeting where she finished fourth in her season opener and backed up to run second on the final day at Riccarton.
“I think she is a much better horse now and is stronger and more mature, but she wouldn’t want it too wet,” Williams said.
The Drakes/Ritchies Maiden (1400m) contender Volare has placed in both of her starts this campaign following an injury-forced 12 month break after running fourth in her debut.
“She doesn’t have to improve much to be right in it. She hurt herself and she’s come back well and it takes a while to get them fit and hard inside,” Williams said.
“She’s a mare I think quite a lot of. We were going to aim her at the fillies’ races, but she broke a piece off her pedal bone.
“We’re very happy now with her, she’s a nice horse.”
Meanwhile, gifted three-year-old Desert Lightning returned to the stable this week following time off after his close second in the Gr.1 New Zealand 2000 Guineas (1600m) at Riccarton.
“He was great and he had been set for that all the way through, that was our aim and just a better horse (Pier) on the day beat him,” Williams said.
Desert Lightning holds a nomination for the Gr.1 New Zealand Derby (2400m) and the son of Pride Of Dubai will be given lead-up opportunities to test his stamina.
“We’ll make a plan over the next week or two as to where we go with him,” Williams said.
“We’ve got to wait until he gets up over a mile and a-quarter to see how he goes, he will let us know if he will get that distance.
“If he is ever going to it’s likely to be as a three-year-old, against his own age group it’s the easiest time to do it.”