Cambridge trainers Roger James and Robert Wellwood will likely hold a strong hand in the Gr.1 Rydges Wellington Captain Cook Stakes (1600m) at Trentham on Saturday-week.
The duo are set to contest the feature mile with in-form runners Hypnos (NZ) (Reliable Man) and Concert Hall (NZ) (Savabeel), who will take identical form lines into the race.
Hypnos finished runner-up first-up at Hastings in October before winning the Gr.3 Red Badger Spring Sprint (1400m) and then the Gr.2 Coupland’s Bakeries Mile (1600m) at Riccarton earlier this month.
Concert Hall has also been on song, winning the Gr.3 Thompson Handicap (1600m) and Gr.2 Tauranga Stakes (1600m) in her last two starts after finishing runner-up to Dawn Patrol first-up at Ellerslie.
“Hypnos appears to have come through his Coupland’s Mile run well,” James said. “He has had a few days in the paddock and he has been to the water treadmill and returns to the stable today.
“Concert Hall has come of age and I have been happy with her since her run.
“They are two nice horses and the benefit of maturity is showing now. They are both in line for the Captain Cook Stakes at Wellington in a fortnight.”
Meanwhile, James is a bit frustrated with a plethora of wide draws for his runners at Te Rapa on Wednesday with a few of them likely to bypass the meeting as a result.
However, he said regally-bred filly Cheaperthandivorce and Camarosa will both make their debuts in the SVS 1400 and Win A Jetski @ SkyCity Hamilton 1200 respectively.
“Cheaperthandivroce has only had one trial and trialled up nicely and I have been pleased with her since. She has drawn nicely (4) so she will get her opportunity,” he said.
“Camarosa has been nominated that many times and drawn wide that many times she will definitely run. She is a filly with a future. She is a nice filly and whatever she does on Wednesday she will improve on.”