Alby MacGregor is hopeful his well-travelled gelding Times Ticking can wind back the clock in Saturday's Group 3 White Robe Lodge WFA (1600m) at Wingatui.
The evergreen eight-year-old has made several journeys to the South over the past couple of seasons, adding the Listed Easter Cup (1600m) and the Group 3 Canterbury Gold Cup (2000m) to his 11-win record.
A son of Tavistock, Times Ticking will venture to Wingatui for the first time on Saturday in an attempt to emulate his Southern heroics, fresh from a winning performance to claim the Group 3 Trentham Stakes (2100m) on January 13 under Joe Doyle, who retains the ride.
“He's very well, and pulled up nicely from Trentham,” MacGregor said.
“He went back down to my son's (Dean) at Rangiora following that race, and they've travelled to Wingatui today. He's in very good hands and thrives down there.
“We had looked at this race (White Robe Lodge) seeing the horse was based there, and we thought it would suit him well being at weight-for-age.
“It's great having Joe, he seemed to suit the horse well. He'll just jump from that draw (4) and hopefully get into a good spot a bit better than midfield, depending on how he's travelling. We'll just have to see how it pans out.”
Times Ticking has recorded four victories on Good tracks, and a further seven on Heavy, however MacGregor indicated a softer surface would assist the gelding's chances. Having had early support in markets with top horse racing bookmakers, he currently sits the equal-favourite alongside Te Akau runner Perfect Scenario at +200.
“A bit of rain would be very nice, so we're hopeful for that,” MacGregor said.
MacGregor will cheer on his pride and joy from his Opaki base on Saturday, with the gelding's immediate future likely remaining in the South Island in pursuit of back-to-back Canterbury Gold Cup crowns in April.