Amarula and Ocean Emperor, form runners for Saturday's Tauranga Stakes, underlined their fitness with smart work at Matamata this morning.
Galloping on the plough, Amarula (S McKay) had pace on throughout 1000m in 1:02.8, finishing off with 600m in 36.4. The Peter McKay-trained gelding has made pleasing progress since his close second in the Thompson Handicap at Trentham and will strip fit for the weight-for-age feature.
Ocean Emperor had raceday jockey Mark Hills in the saddle as he and Temple Tiger (Rika) were paired over 1000m in 1:03.8, quickening from the 600m to complete the gallop in an impressive 35.4. After their wins at Awapuni, the Gary Hennessy stablemates will be at peak fitness for their Tauranga engagements.
Flying Master (P Turner) was in good form for the weekend as he cut out a stylish 1000m in 1:01.4 and 35.6. Over the same ground Tauranga sprint candidate Splurge (McNab) returned 1:02.4 and 35.4, while Snapshot (Lammas) and Arraignment (Dowling) also ran time over 1000m in 1:01.4 and 35.6.
Saffron Lady (Bayliss) got into her work over ground, competing the final 1200m in 1:14.8, 59.6 and 35.5. Please Be (K McQuade) cut out 1000m in 1:04.5 and 37.1.
Over the same distance Rock Me (Cole) clocked 1:06.8 and 37.2, Avec Moi (Dellow) 1:07.4 and 37.3, Gold Fever (Pinn) and Seirios (McNab) 1:10.4 and 37.2, Kane (Bayliss) 1:11.4 and 42, Cote D’Or (Wratten) 1:14.6 and 44, Resurrect (Bayliss) 1:14 and 41.4, and Tavis Star (Lammas) 1:15.3 and 42.5.
Promising maiden Za Za Gabor (Bayliss) went with a Jimmy Choux filly (Pavin) over 1000m in 1:06.6 and 38.8. Over 800m Bits And Pieces (Lammas) returned 54.7 and 39.8, Lillet (M Grylls) and Savvy Lady (Pinn) 52.7 and 38.8, and Adis (Wratten) 57.4 and 41.2.
Several members of the Richardson/Parker team worked on the course proper, where the going was dead with the markers set out wide. Xbox (Handley) and Mahalo (Bayliss) went well over 1000m in 1:07.2 and 37.6, while Incantesimo (Gorham) and Recollect (Handley) covered 1200m in 1:22.6, 1:08 and 39.5. All four are in good order for their weekend engagements at Tauranga.