Te Akau picked up the trifecta in the Karaka Million 2YO (1200m) last month and they are looking at repeating that result in another juvenile race at Matamata on Saturday.
Trainer Jamie Richards will line-up Aotea Lad, Yourdeel and Equinox in the Gr.3 Waikato Stud Slipper (1200) with TAB bookmakers heavily favouring a tangerine and blue trifecta.
They have set Group Two winner Aotea Lad as a $2 favourite for the race, while stakes-placed gelding Yourdeel has been marked a $2.40 second favourite and undefeated colt Equinox lies third in the market at $5.50.
The remaining runners in the field are out of favour with the TAB, with Scotch and Moeraki set at $23, while Patch Prince is rated a $26 winning chance.
Aotea Lad and Yourdeel will head into the race in a fresh state after placing in the Karaka Million, while Richards is hoping debut winner Equinox can step-up in class since winning at Trentham last month.
“The two horses out of the Karaka Million have been given a little freshen-up, they enjoyed that and did well and their work has been good,” Rihcards said.
“Equinox is the new boy on the scene, he won well at Wellington and looks a pretty exciting colt.
“I don’t know whether he has got the ring-craft at this stage to be right up there with those other boys that have had a bit of practice, but we are going to find out tomorrow.”
Richards is happy with all three runners heading into Saturday and is looking forward to backing them up in the Gr.1 Sistema Stakes (1200m) at Ellerslie next month.
“It’s hard to split them,” he said. “I would just like to see them all run well and progress towards Ellerslie in a couple of weeks’ time, they will all go to the Sistema at this stage.”
Later on the Matamata card Richards is hoping for more juvenile success when he lines-up undefeated filly Harlow in the Gr.2 J Swap Contractors Ltd Matamata Breeders’ Stakes (1200m).
“She’s a nice filly, she won well at Te Rapa,” Richards said.
“She has progressed the right way since. Some of the babies go off the boil a bit, but she’s a good tough filly with a good constitution and needs to step up and improve a bit for tomorrow.
“She should get a nice run in the race (from barrier two), hopefully she doesn’t need to get back quite as far as she did at Te Rapa. If she can hold her spot midfield, that would be good.
“We think she can run a cheeky race.”
Richards said the daughter of Proisir’s future race plans have yet to be determined, with the Te Akau team waiting until after Saturday’s race to finalise those.
“We’ll just see how we go on Saturday with her before we go any further with her,” Richards said. – NZ Racing Desk