He's A Doozy has come a long way in the last 12 months and is in the right order to add another feature race title to his burgeoning record on his home track at Awapuni on Saturday.
The Lisa Latta-trained son of Zacinto will take aim at the Group 2 City Of Palmerston North Gold Cup (2000m) in his final appearance before a well-earned break.
A Rating 74 winner at Trentham a year ago, He's A Doozy was successful in the Group 3 Thompson Handicap (1600m) three runs later before he added the Group 3 Coupland's Bakeries Mile (1600m) to his CV.
He was then freshened and posted a second-up victory over star three-year-old Sharp ‘N' Smart in the Group 1 Thorndon Mile (1600m) and last time out was a gallant fifth in his first weight-for-age outing in the Group 1 Herbie Dyke Stakes (2000m).
“He had a little hiccup and was going to run in the Group One at Pukekohe (New Zealand Stakes, 2050m), it was nothing major and he hasn't lost any fitness,” Latta said.
“He trialled up nicely at Otaki the other day and Jonathan (Riddell) will ride him.”
He's A Doozy will be rewarded with a spell after the weekend with no thoughts of travelling further afield to the Queensland winter carnival.
“He's just been up too long for that. He'll go out after Saturday, he's been in work a fair while and he's done a really good job,” Latta said.
Last-start Group 2 Auckland Cup (3200m) winner Platinum Invador will oppose his stablemate and will sport a gear addition with the drop back in trip. Jason Laking has been booked for the Redwood gelding.
“I couldn't be happier with him and we'll put the blinkers on him on Saturday,” Latta said.
“I just want to try something different and make him more focussed and it will give us more options if we can get him on the ball over 2000m.”
Latta will have strong representation in all the black-type events at Awapuni with Lantern Way and Pignan in the Group 1 Manawatu Sires' Produce Stakes (1400m).
“Lantern Way was unsuited by the heavy track last start and Pignan didn't really handle it either, it was only that last bit that she got up and going and has been super consistent,” she said.
The latter has won once from five appearances and has yet to finish out of the top three with Joe Doyle to take the ride on the Staphanos filly.
“The 1400m is really going to suit her and both of them will be good chances,” Latta said.
Sacred Falls gelding Bourbon Falls is expected to be ideally suited to a middle distance under Riddell in the Group 3 Manawatu Classic (2000m) after a lead-up sprint outing.
“I brought him back to 1400m last start and didn't want to go four and a-half weeks between runs,” Latta said.
“He got held up a bit so I wouldn't read too much into that run at all. I think stepping up to the 2000m is what he is looking for.”
Per Incanto five-year-old Nod Of The Head will resume in the Listed Bramco Granite & Marble Flying Handicap (1200m) and is forward for the assignment, in which he will be handled by Warren Kennedy.
“He's had two jump-outs and a trial and is going super and gets in with a good weight (55.kg),” Latta said.