Group One performer Hypnos (NZ) (Reliable Man) is in fine fettle ahead of the Gr.3 Eagle Technology Stakes (1600m) at Te Aroha on Saturday according to trainers Roger James and Robert Wellwood.
The six-year-old son of Reliable Man has drawn well in gate six in an 11-horse field, with Group One winner Royal Performer at the top of the book in the set weights and penalties feature.
Hypnos heads into the race in good form, having placed in two of his three starts this preparation, including a last start runner-up effort behind Justaskme in the Gr.2 Tauranga Stakes (1600m).
“He hit the front probably a bit too early last start, but I am happy enough with him,” James said.
James is pleased with Hypnos’ draw and said that will give him plenty of options out of the gates.
“There is no doubt that a good draw is a big help and it will be an assist for him because we can ride him where we want to from six without doing any work, whereas if you start using him at the beginning of the race he can get quite aggressive,” he said.
Saturday will likely be Hypnos’ last appearance this preparation, with James looking towards the autumn with the gelding.
“He may well not have many more runs in this preparation, we might save him for the autumn again,” he said.
“I don’t know that hard tracks are going to be his best friend at all. He has a bit of mileage on his legs these days so we are taking every run at a time.”
Meanwhile, James has elected to scratch stablemate Madam Hass (NZ) (Per Incanto) from the Listed Courtesy Ford Levin Stakes (1200m) at Otaki on Thursday after she drew the outside of the 14-horse field.
“She drew wide in the Pegasus (Listed, 1000m) and was still able to run third, the draw (8) definitely cost her that day,” James said.
“She drew the outside (13) in the Stewards (Gr.3, 1200m) and we ran her because we were down there (Riccarton) and it was a race that we had targeted, and her run was very good, but again the draw cost her.
“She drew the outside again at Levin so we weren’t going to go all the way to Otaki and do the same thing.”
The Gr.1 Sistema Railway (1200m) at Ellerslie on New Year’s Day remains her main target of the summer but James is yet to decide where she will have her final lead-in run.
“She will have one run somewhere between now and then, but where I am not certain at this stage,” he said.