Group One galloper Royal Performer resumes on Thursday for Jenny and Bob Vance in an Open Handicap over 1400m at Pukekohe Park.
The well-travelled nine-year-old has been assigned top-weight of 63.5kgs with the stable to utilise four-kilo claiming apprentice Ace Lawson-Carroll to reduce the impost.
“He will get back a little bit but he comes home and finishes his races off so he is not too difficult to ride,” Bob Vance said.
“I’m just happy to get a run into him on a decent track first up. 1400m is probably a touch short for him to be honest, he is more of a mile to 2000m horse but he will run well. He will take a lot of improvement from the run.”
The Vances elected not to participate in earlier spring features with the son of Medicean, who came to them third-hand after initially racing in the UK and then Hong Kong.
Royal Performer shot to prominence last summer, winning four races for the Ardmore Lodge trainers, highlighted by success in the Group 1 Herbie Dyke Stakes (2000m) at Te Rapa.
Thursday aside, the 103-rated galloper is now likely to campaign in weight-for-age company in the coming months, with the Group 1 Rydges Wellington Captain Cook Stakes (1600m) a potential target next month.
“He could possibly go to the Captain Cook in early December and then probably the Zabeel Classic (Group 1, 2000m) on Boxing Day in Auckland,” Vance said.
“Then maybe the Herbie Dyke, then you still have the March carnival in Auckland with another weight for age option (Group 1 Bonecrusher New Zealand Stakes, 2000m).
“That is why we have left him a bit late to start racing this season. It goes for so long but there are some good races. If you start off too early it makes it too long for him.
“I would have had to start running him on wet tracks too and he just hates wet tracks. At least there is more certainty about tracks at this time of year.”
With eight horses in work at present, Vance is awaiting news on another Group winner as he maps out a campaign.
“I will probably know on Saturday if Its Destinys Child is in foal. She went to Ribchester at Haunui Farm and hopefully she is in foal,” he said.
“The Pukekohe meeting being transferred to Te Rapa on Saturday week is not so good for her, she is not as good left-handed as she is right-handed.
“If the Ellerslie meeting on December 4th gets underway there is good chance we will run her there and then the Railway (Group 1, 1200m).
“She went good last year, she was just a little bit unlucky. She is competitive but there are some good sprinters coming up this year I am sure.”
Vance also reported that handy galloper Acutus has gone for a spell and will come back for the Autumn.
The boutique stable has been less-affected by the Auckland lockdown than some others and Vance was thankful he could call upon family assistance.
“We have had a few horses that have had to travel out of the area. We are a bit lucky that Maija (daughter) is out of Auckland so can look after the horses,” he said.