Alex “Snookie” Cowan is claiming home track advantage for Saturday's Listed Gavelhouse.com Lightning Handicap (1200m) at Trentham.
The Ashburton trainer will produce Signify in the sprint feature at the Wellington Racing Club meeting some 542km away from his actual home base.
But such is Signify's record at Trentham, Cowan reckons it's like playing a home game.
"It's like a home track for him. He loves the place and that's the number one reason we're here," said Cowan, who trains Signify for his wife Tracey.
In four races at Trentham, Signify has won the 2017 Gr.1 Telegraph (1200m) and the Lightning Handicap later that year before an unplaced Telegraph run last year and a gallant third placing in this year's running.
“He travelled to Wellington on Wednesday and settled in well,” Cowan said.
"He's been on the track and he seems well enough. He hasn't raced for six weeks but he's very well. He's in top condition," Cowan said.
"He's got a bit of weight to carry, 60kg is about the roof for him, and things have to go ideally with that weight. He's certainly weighted up to his best."
Cowan has engaged newly-anointed Group One-winning rider Sam Collett, whose job will be to obtain the most economical run possible from barrier seven.
"He's got Ferrando drawn right beside us and hopefully he can take us across with him but I'll be telling Sam not to use him too much early," Cowan said.
"He can go forward then dive for cover and get as cosy a trip as possible. I don't want him used twice. Ideally we can get one shot at them at the end. On his work and the way he's feeling, I suspect he'll go pretty well."
TAB bookmakers have Signify on the fifth line of betting at $9.50 in a market headed by last-start Gr.3 Waikato Stud Plate (1200m) winner Princess Kereru at $4 and impressive Te Akau Racing newcomer Sasso Corbaro at $4.20.
"All going well, he'll stay on to race at Awapuni in two weeks (in the Listed Bramco Granite & Marble Flying Handicap, 1400m). He'll stay with Mark Oulaghan and he can babysit him for me between races," Cowan said. - NZ Racing Desk