Neptune's Spear ($1.50) was having his final hit-out before crossing the Tasman for the Karaka Million at Ellerslie in Auckland on January 26.
He bounded straight to the lead but was hounded by Stampe ($4.20) who went past him in the straight to record a 3-1/4 length win in Wednesday's two-year-old handicap (1100m).
“At this stage he is going but we will have to monitor him. Maybe he got a way from us a bit as he is still a colt and they can trick you sometimes,” Russell said.
“Brad (jockey Stewart) thought he might be a bit brilliant for the 1200 metres in New Zealand but we might have to be a bit harder on Neptune's Spear.”
Munce's wife Cathy said Stampe had been showing ability in trials and at his two previous starts.
“He was a lot fitter today and he could win a Saturday race on that effort,” she said.
Stewart later rode his fifth winner for the week, after doubles at Murwillumbah and Gatton, when Ignite the Light ($1.90) won the Class 5 Plate (1100m).
Stewart was able to dictate a walking pace early and then sprinted home in 33.4secs to score an easy win.
“They were never going to run him down when he went that early pace,” Stewart said.