Impressive debut winner Marengo will step out at Te Rapa on Saturday as one of a trio of runners for Byerley Park trainers Peter and Dawn Williams.
The Williams are keen to give the son of Charm Spirit a run left-handed before the completion of his three-year-old season.
“We were going to give him a break, but we decided we will give him a run left-handed and then he will go out,” Peter Williams said.
“It is just another run for experience and then he will go for a spell. Everything is alright, he is well but he has never been left-handed. That will finish his season off. It will give me options in the new season.
“He is a horse that has attracted a few offers from overseas.
“He is probably our best of the day provided he corners well, we’re just aware he hasn’t trialled or galloped much left-handed.”
Marengo will be ridden by South African jockey Warren Kennedy, who has made a big impression since moving to New Zealand, with nine of his 59 victories this season coming for the Williams’.
“Warren is a big part of our team. He rides gallops twice a week for us. He knows all the horses and rides a lot of them in work. He is very good to us and his feedback is invaluable,” Williams said.
Kennedy will also partner well-related Savabeel gelding The Instigator in the Jones Trucking Mile as he looks to break maiden ranks, having finished top four in four of his seven starts.
“He is a typical big three-year-old. He is a bit weak and just immature. I think he will be a better horse next year, that is why we haven’t over raced him.
“He will have a run on Saturday and then we will make a decision where we go with him. He possibly won’t handle the heavy tracks. We have just been waiting for the right race for him.”
Williams is hoping for a decent surface at Te Rapa for four-year-old mare Verstappen as she looks to snare a fourth career victory, with Sam Spratt booked to ride.
“She didn’t handle the track at Counties last start. It was too heavy for her and Sam Spratt said she couldn’t get her feet out of the ground, but she was game winning at Avondale prior to that.”
Williams reported that the stable will have limited runners through the winter months, with stakes-class gallopers Saint Alice, Cool Change and Desert Lightning all out for a spell, along with Just A Floozie, who was a smart winner of an ultra-competitive juvenile race at Avondale last month.
“Just A Floozie was shin sore after her last race, so she is out for a winter break. They were all pretty smart horses in the finish of that race, so I think it will be a good form reference going forward,” he said.
More New Zealand horse racing news