Cambridge three-year-old Mr Mojo Risin' has performed well enough at home and in recent trial outings to warrant a first-up crack at black-type company on Saturday, according to trainer Andrew Forsman.
The son of Deep Field will debut in the Listed HS Dyke Wanganui Guineas (1340m) for Forsman, who will also be represented by Wessex in the Listed The O'Leary's Fillies' Stakes (1200m) and The Good Oil in the St John's Club Handicap (1600m).
Bred and raced by Jomara Bloodstock, Mr Mojo Risin' was a trial winner at Ellerslie last season before a break and has returned to place this time in at Te Rapa and Avondale to fit him for Saturday's challenge.
“He's showed us enough at home and he's a nice horse who has kept improving,” Forsman said.
Mr Mojo Risin' hasn't been helped by the visitor's barrier, but Forsman said the gelding has the early pace to take up a handy spot.
“Hopefully, the track continues to improve and it's a bit unfortunate he has drawn the outside, but I think he has got enough speed to work across and put himself in the race,” he said.
“When you look ahead to where else we could run him, it's hard to find something suitable and we would rather he sticks to his own age group.
“We thought he could go to Wanganui for the trip away and hopefully he can run top three or four and we will be very happy.”
Meanwhile, Wessex won twice last season and was a last-start fourth in the Listed Ryder Stakes (1200m) at Te Rapa.
“It's still going to be a relatively heavy track and she's drawn one and that should be a big assist if the rail holds up,” Forsman said.
“We've just been ticking her over and trying to take advantage of the wet tracks knowing she handles them better than most and trying to pick up some black type with her,” Forsman said.
The Good Oil has been at the top of his game in recent outings and followed up his front-running maiden victory on the synthetic track at Cambridge with another winning display off the front at Te Rapa last Saturday.
“When we looked ahead, there weren't too many suitable options for him in the next two or three weeks,” Forsman said.
“We thought it would be timely to give him a trip away and see how he handles the back-up. It's another step up in class and he's up against tough, seasoned older horses.
“It will be hard for him, but it will give us a line on him and where to go to next.”
Forsman will also send two well-performed members of his stable in True Enough and Marroni back into action in the Wade Equine Coaches Handicap (1500m) at Te Rapa on Saturday.
“They are both pretty forward and fit, but there are horses there that have had a race or two that might have the edge on us,” he said.
True Enough is well exposed at the highest level as a past winner of the Group 1 Zabeel Classic (2000m) and will be making his first appearance since he ran third in the Group 3 Easter Handicap (1600m) in the autumn.
Marroni won the Group 3 Manawatu Cup (2250m) last term ahead of a Sydney campaign, which opened encouragingly with a third placing in the Group 3 Neville Sellwood Stakes (2000m) before his form tapered off.
“Nothing went right after that really and he didn't have the best of luck. He had a fibrillation at his last start, but he seems to have come back really well,” Forsman said.