Wingatui trainer Terry Kennedy is a patient man - and with good reason.
Kennedy will produce seven-year-old Gallant Guru mare Sadler's Lass in Saturday's WAE Waikouaiti Cup (2200m) at Wingatui, happy his charge is only getting better with age.
In fact, Kennedy believes Sadler's Lass' best days are in front of her as she prepares for two upcoming stakes targets.
"She's just a late-maturing mare. Her half-brother The Bishop only won his second race when he was seven and he was a good horse," Kennedy said.
"He ended up winning 10 races and we think this mare could be even better next year too. The Dunedin Cup should be a good race for her but we'd be quite happy to win this one on the way through."
Kennedy will use the Waikouaiti Cup as Sadler's Lass’ lead-up to the Listed Dunedin Gold Cup (2400m) at Wingatui on February 4, with Cambridge apprentice Kelsey Hannan booked for Saturday's ride.
He was buoyed by the mare's late-finishing last-start fifth to race rival Asathought at Wingatui on Boxing Day after she was shuffled back at a key stage of the race.
"She went really well last start and the couple of kilos off her back will help her. She'll run in the first three in that race, I reckon," Kennedy said.
"The track has got a bit of moisture in it and her sectionals were pretty good the other day. She ran the second-quickest last 400m of the race and quickest last 200.
"She got carted back at the wrong stage last start but with a good start, she should race in the first four of five and finish it off well."
Kennedy's long-range aim for Sadler's Lass is the Listed Riverton Cup (2147m) in April.
"She likes the slow tracks better than the fast tracks so that looks a nice race for her. It's a good family and if she can get a bit of black-type, she'd be a valuable broodmare," Kennedy said.
Kennedy has nine runners at Wingatui, with Hannan booked for four rides, though Rohan Mudhoo sticks with promising Ghibillines filly Generation Joy, who could book a start in the Listed Dunedin Guineas (1500m) on February 4 with another bold showing.
"She's a very good filly. Everything going well, she'll run in the Dunedin Guineas and maybe the Southland Guineas (Listed, 1600m) at Invercargill on February 16. She's been racing well in good fields and we really like her," Kennedy said.
"I like racing at Wingatui. The team always goes well and they recover well because they're in the paddock 10 minutes after their race."