Matamata trainers Lance O'Sullivan and Andrew Scott will produce talented sprinting duo Spring Heat and Sweet Leader in Saturday's Hobbiton Movie Set 1200 on their home track, hoping bold performances could springboard them into Gr.1 Telegraph (1200m) contention.
Spring Heat had been in contention for the Gr.1 Sistema Railway (1200m) at Ellerslie next Tuesday but Scott confirmed she would take her place in the Matamata Rating 82 feature.
"She'll be running at Matamata. It's just a matter of getting her campaign underway," he said.
"Her trials have been only okay, but her work has been tremendous so we're basing our expectations on that. This is a good opportunity to race her on her own track. She's never run here before but obviously she does all her work here so she's on familiar ground.
"There'll be a bit of give in the track which will suit her and she'll sprint well fresh. She's a talented racehorse and we're hoping she can perform well."
More Than Ready four-year-old Spring Heat races in the Hermitage Thoroughbreds colours that O'Sullivan and Scott have enjoyed much success with through the likes of Willie Cazals and Summer Passage, among others.
A winner of two of her five starts, including the Gr.3 Bonecrusher Stakes (1400m) at Ellerslie last year, Spring Heat hasn't raced since her fifth placing in the Gr.1 Levin Classic (1600m) at Trentham last January, sidelined after surgery to remove a bone chip on her fetlock.
Sweet Leader is back in O'Sullivan and Scott's care after a brief stint in Hong Kong, where he was unplaced in both his starts.
Prior, the O'Reilly entire had won three races for the stable, including the Gr.3 Cambridge Breeders’ Stakes (1200m) at Te Rapa and finished fifth in this year's Railway at Ellerslie.
"He's worked up in a manner that suggests he'll run very well fresh-up," Scott said.
"He's another that will appreciate the give in the track and he's a capable, talented horse. They are both nominated for the big sprints if their form is good enough to warrant running. We'll just get this race out of the way first and then reassess."
The O'Sullivan-Scott stable has 11 entries at Matamata, with Scott expecting a bold run from the Hermitage Thoroughbreds-raced Autumn Flash in the Meat Co. Matamata 1400. - NZ Racing Desk