Steven Cole isn’t sure how long he will have promising youngster There Goes My Hero in his care, but plans for a delayed step up to black-type company remain in place.
Following due consideration, the Byerley Park trainer has opted to run the colt in Saturday’s Westbrook Wines 2YO (1300m) at Avondale in preference to a crack at the Group 1 Manawatu Sires’ Produce Stakes (1400m) at Awapuni.
There Goes My Hero has finished runner-up in both of his runs to date to spark the attention of potential buyers and victory at the weekend is likely to ramp up efforts to purchase the son of No Nay Never.
“There have been a few people from Hong Kong interested in the horse so he could be sold if he won, we’ll just have to play that by ear,” Cole said.
The Sires’ Produce was on the radar of There Goes My Hero’s connections until earlier in the week when a decision was made to stay closer to home and Shaun McKay booked for the ride.
“He’s been very good in his two runs and obviously it was unfortunate when he was late scratched at the barrier at Matamata the other day,” Cole said.
“He’s got a good brain and has always been quite push button so I wouldn’t expect him to do anything again.
“We took him to the jump-outs at Pukekohe and he won his heat pretty impressively so he’s on track.
“We were still tossing up even after the jump-out and right up until Wednesday morning whether we ran at Awapuni, but Avondale looked a nice option for him so we’ve gone down that route instead.”
Safely through the weekend and a possible sale aside, a following black type outing at Pukekohe on April 22 is still on the table.
“We might look at the Champagne Stakes (Listed, 1600m) if he goes well and comes through the race alright,” Cole said.
The stable will still have two representatives at the Awapuni meeting with Mega Mogul in the Group 3 Manawatu Classic (2000m) and Mascarinto in the Landmark Homes Premier (1200m).
To be partnered by Ashvin Goindasamy, Mega Mogul earned his trip south with a last-start maiden victory over a middle distance against older opposition at Pukekohe.
“He’s already run a trip, which some of them haven’t, and his form has progressed well and I think he will run better than his odds ($41) are,” Cole said.
“We probably trained him wrong earlier on as we thought he was going to be a sprinter.
“Although he’s by Written Tycoon out of a sprinting mare, he obviously wants to stay and we’ll keep him to those trips and see how far along we can get him.”
By contrast, Per Incanto three-year-old Mascarinto is a short course specialist with three wins up to 1200m to his credit and a third placing in last season’s Listed Fasttrack Insurance 2YO Stakes (1100m).
“He’s just a speed machine, that’s him and he likes to get out there and do his own thing,” Cole said.
“His form is probably as good, if not better, than anything in the field so you would have to say he’s going to be a pretty strong chance.”
Beaten less than a length when fourth in the Group 3 Almanzor Trophy (1200m) three runs back, Mascarinto has since won and finished runner-up at Pukekohe and will be ridden by Ryan Elliot.