A reminder of upcoming spring feature racing was provided at Matamata on Tuesday morning when leading members of the star-studded Te Akau string had their training stepped up on the course proper.

Work took place right-handed wide out, where the going was slow. Quality racemares Probabeel (T Harris) and Avantage (Bosson) were the first pair to roll into striding work which they completed with 600m in 39.2.

Star two-year-old Sword Of State (Bosson) was accompanied by Palamos (T Harris) over a well-held 600m in 40.3, while smart fillies Imperatriz (Bosson) and Millefiori (T Harris) went together in 39.4.

Oaks winner Amarelinha (Roustoby) went solo over 600m in 39, Cornflower Blue (Durrant) covered the same ground in 39.1, Entriviere (S Weatherley) took 39.6 and Festivity (Durrant) 39.3.

All members of the Jamie Richards-trained contingent are making pleasing progress and are scheduled to step out at next week’s Cambridge trials.

Thunder (P Turner), a likely runner at Ruakaka on Saturday, got through sound work on the No. 1 sand, where he cut out his last 1000m in 1:07 and 600m in 37.2. He looks improved with recent racing.

Amazing Az (R Cole), temporarily with Toby Autridge, looked fit ahead of his Trentham maiden hurdle assignment when he completed two rounds with 1200m in 1:21.8, 1:07.3 and 37.8.

On the No. 2 sand speedy two-year-old Ima Roca Bee (Leighton) wasted no time over 800m in 48.6 and 36.2. She has made good progress since her close second in the Castletown Stakes and will run next in the Ryder Stakes at the end of the month.

Last-start winner Farrenc (Barr) looked bright as she eased into her work over 1000m in 1:15.2, quickening from the 600m in 39.5.

Dennis Ryan