Two-year-olds preparing for the Manawatu Sires’ Stakes were the centre of attention at Matamata on Tuesday, when they were allowed to gallop against the course proper rail.

On going rated Dead 6, Bonny Lass (C Grylls) impressed working with Dragon Biscuit (Yanagida) over a soundly-run 1000m in 1:02.9, finishing off with a final 600m in 35.6. Bonny Lass has thrived since her Sistema Stakes third and will be an interesting runner stepping up to 1400m at Awapuni on Saturday. Dragon Biscuit has also gone on the right way since his last-start win.

On The Bubbles (D Johnson) shaded his Sistema Stakes conqueror Sword Of State (Bosson) after cutting out 1000m in 1:02.6 and 35.5. A decision was still pending whether Sword Of State will head to Awapuni. Jamie Richards’ third Sires’ Stakes entry, debut winner I Wish I Win (T Harris), caught the eye in his work with Wolfgang (S McKay) over 1000m in 1:03 and 36.2.

All other course proper gallops took place right-handed with the markers at 22 metres, where the going was on the cusp of dead and slow. Tiptronic (C Grylls) added further strength to the Richardson/Norvall stable’s Awapuni hand with a solid solo workout, cutting out his last 1200m in 1:21.2 and 600m in 37.8. He looks very bright ahead of his Awapuni Gold Cup assignment.

Race rival On the Rocks (McCall) was paired with Manawatu Classic entry Fleetwood Macca (S Collett) in a strong hitout over 1200m in 1:17.4 and 600m in 37.8. Savvy Yong Blonk (T Harris) also did good work ahead of the Awapuni middle-distance feature when paired with Shebringsmerubies (Kamaruddin) over 1200m in 1:22.3 and 37.4.

Promising three-year-old Fast Willie (Yanagida) prepared for Saturday’s Ellerslie meeting with 1200m in 1:23.2 and 37.6, while Ellerslie entry Military Step (T Harris) worked in company with Manawatu Classic candidate Seajetz (Roustoby) over the same ground in 1:21.4 and 37.4.

Petrachor (S Collett) and Roch ’N’ Horse (McCall), possible rivals in the Flying Handicap at Awapuni, cut out 1200m in 1:20.8 and 37.5. La Mia Stella (P Brosnan) prepared for the same race with 1200m in 1:25.9 and 40.6, while Radegast (Bosson) returned 1:22.8 and 38.6, and True Falls (C Cole) and Prophetic (B Donoghue) 1:26.6 and 38.2.

Over 600m Awapuni entries Challa (D Johnson) and Campionessa (Kamaruddin) clocked 36.8 and Rhapsody In Blue (D Johnson) and Navalha (Bosson) 36.7.

On the No. 1 sand Awapuni candidates Bad ’N’ Bouj (S McKay) and Sagunto (R Cole) were paired over 1000m in 1:03 and 35.8. Last-start winner Virtuoso Lad (Tynan) looked happy in his work over 1000m in 1:04.2 and 36.

Dennis Ryan