The Stephen Marsh-trained Masetto prepared for a tilt at the Gr.1 Thorndon Mile (1600m) by winning a high-quality 1200m trial at Te Rapa on Wednesday.
The six-year-old gelding finished fifth in the Gr.2 Rich Hill Mile (1600m) in his first run for Marsh, who is the fifth trainer of the four-time winner, who was Group One placed in the Tarzino Trophy (1400m) in the spring.
Quality galloper The Chosen One looked in fine fettle finishing into second under a hold, with pacemaker Joe's Legacy in third.
Others to catch the eye included quality three-year-old filly Princess Lowry and classy galloper Aegon, who finished fifth after again missing the start, this time by more than six lengths.
“It was a nice trial today and Masetto will now progress to the Thorndon Mile,” Marsh said.
Andrew Forsman, who trains in partnership with Murray Baker, was on hand to oversee The Chosen One and Aegon, with the latter set to head for a spell with Forsman citing mental fatigue.
"It was a bit disappointing at Ellerslie (unplaced run in Gr.1 Zabeel Classic, 2000m) and the writing was on the wall perhaps that he was a mentally tired horse,” Forsman said.
“We just wanted to give him a little freshen-up post that, bring him back and give him this trial and see where we are at.
“There is no real reason as to why he is doing it (missing the start). He caught them up pretty quickly, he had to do a bit of work to catch them. He only hit the line fairly, we thought.
“Physically we can’t fault him, he seems bright and well, I just think he is a mentally tired horse who had had a lot of travelling and a lot of tough racing at weight-for-age level in Australia.
“I think it is time now to give him a good break and start again.”
Forsman was rapt with The Chosen One’s trial and he is now weighing up Group One options for the entire.
“The Chosen One was great, we were really happy with him. He always goes well in a fresh state,” Forsman said.
“At this stage we are tossing up between whether we run him fresh in the Thorndon (Gr.1, 1600m) on Saturday-week or just wait for the Herbie Dyke (Gr.1, 2000m) like we did last year.”