In preparation for Saturday's Group 3 Metric Mile (1600m) at Awapuni, New Plymouth trainer Allan Sharrock views Ladies Man's participation as a pivotal step toward greater achievements.
Ladies Man, a Zed gelding, is set to make his third start of the campaign in this $100,000 feature race.
Sharrock commended Ladies Man's recent performance, stating, “I thought he was outstanding last Saturday. He's progressing extremely well.” J
ockey Michael McNab is sticking with him following a strong-finishing second to Group One mare Mustang Valley over 1400m at New Plymouth.
Online bookmakers have labeled Ladies Man as the $4.50 favorite in the Metric Mile markets, with Cork at $6 and Belardo Boy at $6.50 as the only other contenders in single figures.
Ladies Man, winner of the Group 3 Trentham Stakes (2100m) in January and a placegetter in the Group 2 Auckland Cup (3200m) in March, is on track for a potential Group One opportunity in the coming weeks.
Sharrock anticipates that Saturday's race will prepare him nicely for a shot at the Group 1 Livamol Classic (2040m) on October 14, the final day of the Hawke's Bay Spring Carnival, where Ladies Man is currently priced at $12.
Furthermore, Ladies Man has been nominated for the Group 1 Melbourne Cup (3200m) on November 7. With only 50 kilograms assigned to him when the weights were announced, Sharrock acknowledged that it's a long-range target but noted the connections' enthusiasm for the challenge.
Sharrock also has Justaskme, a stablemate of Ladies Man, in the Metric Mile field. Justaskme will carry the top weight of 60.5 kilograms and has been consistently performing despite his hefty burdens this spring.
Sharrock expressed optimism about Justaskme's form and potential if there is some rain in the forecast.
Another contender from Sharrock's stable in Saturday's race is the high-class mare Darci La Bella, who will also carry top weight.
Sharrock believes she is back to her best and expects a good showing in Saturday's race, despite carrying 62 kilograms.
He is eyeing the Breeders' Stakes at Hawera on October 7 as her next target, where she'll compete at weight-for-age and should be well suited.