Exciting three-year-old Rocket Spade shaped up for Saturday’s Team Wealleans Matamata Cup meeting with an impressive hitout on Tuesday morning.

Most work took place on the plough, with intermittent fog affecting some timing. Rocket Spade (Yanagida) was paired with experienced stablemate Tweedledee (Hepi) in a solid hitout over 1000m in 1:01.2, finishing off strongly for a final 600m in 36.1.

Rocket Spade lived up to his reputation with a smart debut win a fortnight ago and will continue his New Zealand 2000 Guineas preparation in Saturday’s age group 1400m. Tweedledee will be out to enhance his home track record in the Matamata Cup.

Cup entries Lavaglo (Miller) and Yamuna (Newman) were together in a smart 1000m in 1:03.2 and 36.2. The Daniel Miller-trained stablemates both look well.  Codecracker (Cox), who steps up to a middle-distance on Saturday, strode over 1200m in 1:20.4, 1:04.6 and 37.5.

Brando (Bosson) was paired with High Achiever (Burdan) over a solid 1000m in 1:02 and 36.4. Savabeel colt Brando, who makes his debut in the three-year-old maiden on Saturday, is unbeaten in four trials, while High Achiever has two wins from as many raceday starts.

Calliope (Yanagida) and Valyrian (Hepi) worked away quietly from the 1000m mark to record 1:03.8, finishing off strongly but no sectional time was possible due to fog. Fashion Shoot (T Harris) and Star of Bombay (Kamaruddin) did good work over 1000m in 1:03.4 and 36.5, while Woodcote Lass (Kareem) and Vicenza (M Grylls) ran the same distance in 1:03.8 and 36.8.

Also over 1000m, Siracusa (Ramsay) did well to record 1:02.4 and 36.3, Aromatic (Bosson) and Silver Lake (T Harris) took 1:02.8 and 36.5, Roll The Gold (Kumar) and Je Suis Tiger (Newman) 1:06.3 and 37.2, Aero de Paris (Petub) 1:08,and 37.7, and Savy Yong Blonk (T Harris) 1:12.2 and 42.3.

Matamata Cup entry Burgundy Belle (T Harris) was allowed an easy 1000m in 1:07.8, with no sectional possible, Exaltation (T Harris) and Top Brass (Bosson) were timed over 1000m in 1:03.5 and 800m in 49.5, while Naval Fleet (J Ritchie) ran from the 800m in 52.2 and 38.

Last-start winner Light Brocade (Wratten) was never at top over 1200m in 1:26, 1:10.4 and 40.8, and Tammy Wynette (M Brosnan) recorded 1:23.8, 1:08 and 39.6.

On the course proper, which was dead with the markers out 18 metres, Taranaki Breeders’ Stakes candidate Yearn had raceday rider Troy Harris in the saddle when she strode over 1200m in 1:19, 1:04.9 and 38.2. She has trained on well from her first-up run.

Matamata Cup entry Za Za Gabor (Dellow) was paired with Marmellos (Reid) over 1200m in 1:21.4, 1:05.9 and 37.4. Baby Cheeses (Dellow) and Fleetwood Maca (Reid) had something in reserve after 1000m in 1:12.5 and 41.3, while Ali Baba (Dellow) strode over ground as he recorded 1:23, 1:08.8 and 41.3 over the final 1200m.

On the No. 1 sand Teen Titan (Bosson) looked well ahead of his weekend engagement as he completed two striding rounds with 1200m in 1:18, 1:05.3 and 38.7.

Kamikaze (S Collett), who will be chasing an unbeaten hat-trick on the weekend, wasn’t extended in his work over 1000m in 1:07.2 and 38.4. Le Sablier (Tynan) also could have gone faster over the same distance in 1:09.7 and 40.2.

Dennis Ryan