Explosive finishes are becoming a habit for Geriatrix, and co-trainer Andrew Scott is hopeful the eye-catching colt can produce another in Thursday’s Gr.3 Elsdon Park Wellington Stakes (1600m) at Otaki.
The son of Almanzor was an impressive maiden victor at Taupo in October and recorded the fastest 600m sectional of the entire Pukekohe meeting last-start when scorching into second behind Otaki race-rival Antrim Coast.
“We went to Pukekohe and he still raced with inexperience, but his final 600m was very pleasing in the way he quickened home and hit the line,” Scott said.
“It gave us some confidence that he’s looking for further now. While tomorrow’s another step up for him, we’ve got good confidence that he can continue going the right way.
“We’re hoping he can settle well. He’s got to learn to travel and come on from there.”
Geriatrix is a $2.70 favourite with TAB bookmakers for Thursday’s feature, ahead of Antrim Coast at $4.20 and Zabmanzor at $5.
Scott and training partner Lance O’Sullivan have enjoyed a fruitful opening quarter of the season with their three-year-old cohort, including claiming a prized victory in the Gr.1 New Zealand 1000 Guineas (1600m) with Molly Bloom.
The impressive daughter of Ace High is one of 17 early nominations by Wexford for the Gr.1 Cambridge Stud Levin Classic (1600m) in January at Trentham, which Scott noted is a key target for her promising stablemate Geriatrix.
“Being a colt, a Group One mile is certainly something we’d like to target with him and we’d look to get him through tomorrow before hatching a plan towards the Levin Classic,” he said.
Earlier in the Otaki undercard, three-year-old gelding Smokeshow will carry the feature race sponsor Lib Petagna of Elsdon Park’s colours in the Racing This Time TV On Facebook (1200m).
A trio of trial victories were followed by a runner-up performance on debut in behind a short-priced favourite in Shoes, who contests black-type on Saturday in the Listed O’Leary Fillies Stakes (1340m) at Wanganui.
“Smokeshow is another horse that’s just taking a wee while to get his confidence, and he came home well in the finish there last start,” Scott said.
“Another trip away will certainly aid his learning, so he should race well. We’re just keeping him at the six furlongs where we think he should be very competitive.”