Mali Ston looked on target for Saturday’s Thorndon Mile at Trentham when he galloped at Matamata on Tuesday morning.

The Rich Hill Mile winner had raceday rider Sam Weatherley in the saddle as he and an unnamed Shamexpress gelding (Syed) galloped against the rail on the course proper, which was in the high range of dead after overnight rain. The Darryn Weatherley-trained pair finished on terms after a sterling hitout over 1200m in 1:15.2, quickening from the 1000m to run that distance in 1:01.3 and keeping up to their work for a final 600m in 35.8.

Mali Ston has a tougher assignment under set-weight and penalty conditions for the Trentham feature but there’s no denying his well-being. His unnamed stablemate, the winner of two trials to date, is also obviously talented.

Race rivals Mai Tai, Harlech and Prise de Fer also acquitted themselves well in solo work 20m out on the course proper. Mai Tai (Roustoby), a close second in the Rich Hill Mile, cut out 1200m in 1:18.4, 1:04.8 and 38.5. Stablemate Prise de Fer (Parmar) was timed over 1000m in 1:08.5, quickening for a final 600m in 38.5, while Harlech (Lammas) left 1200m behind in 1:20.5, 1:05.6 and 37.2.

Sassy Merlot (Lammas) worked well ahead of Saturday’s Desert Gold Stakes when she and possible Thorndon Mile candidate Germanicus (Yanagida) maintained a solid gallop over 1200m in 1:17.2, 1:03.7 and 38.2. Desert Gold rival La Crique (Turner) was not timed but hit the line strongly, indicating she had trained on well from her last-start Ellerslie win.

Another last-start winner to impress was Glory Bound (C Grylls), who was paired with Karalino (B Grylls) over a smart 1000m in 1:03.6 and 600m in 36.8. Glory Bound runs next at Ellerslie on Sunday. Ellerslie open sprint entry Brando (Roshan) hit out well over 1000m in 1:06.6 and 37.8, while his Trentham-bound stablemate I Wish I Win (Parma) cut out the same distance in 1:08.6 and 38.2.

Leaderboard (Roshan) prepared for the Wellington Cup with long striding work, gaining momentum for a final 1200m in 1:18.5, 1:05.4 and 38.3. Paisley Park (Wratten) also worked over ground, with his 1200m in 1:22, 1:06.7 and 38.4, while Sound (Lammas) was never at top over 1200m in 1:25.2, 1:09.2 and 39.6.

Trentham entries Cadeau (Farr) and Navalha (M Grylls) were paired over 1000m in 1:09.5, quickening readily for a final 600m in 37.5. In similar work Summer Passage (Yuto) and Gone With The Wind (Yanagida) prepared for Ellerslie with  1000m in 1:08.4 and 37.6, while Trentham candidate Myrtle Creek also worked well over 1000m in 1:07.6 and 38.2.

Gingerbread (Cox) covered 1200m in 1:23.8, 1:07.6 and 39.8, Texas Tea (Pinn) returned 1:24.8, 1:10.5 and 41.3, and Asterix (Yanagida) 1:22.8, 1:08 and 40.7. Trentham entry Maria Farina (S Weatherley) was travelling well at the end of a sharp 800m in company with Bea A Roca (Dowling) in 49.7 and 36.6.

Dennis Ryan