Disturbance will step up to a distance past 1200m for just the second time this season when he tackles Saturday's Listed Daphne Bannon Memorial Great Easter Stakes (1400m) at Riccarton.
The Shane Kennedy and Anna Furlong-trained gelding has long shown the potential to compete with the best gallopers in the country but has only started to fulfil that promise this autumn.
Disturbance's only previous stakes placing came on the corresponding day three years ago when he finished second to Zigwig in the Listed Champagne Stakes (1200m) for two-year-olds at Riccarton.
However, he tackled the Gr.2 Avondale Guineas (2100m) at Ellerslie as a three-year-old, placed twice in Rating 85 company at Hastings during a northern autumn campaign last year and went on to win a Dubbo Cup (1600m) as part of a brief Australian campaign earlier this season when transferred to Canberra trainers Barbara Joseph and Paul Jones.
"He went over there to try and place him in better money races without specifically focusing on town but he was just badly weighted," Kennedy said.
"He carried 57.5 kilos to win that but before that he'd been carrying 60 and 61 kilos and after that win he was stuffed at the weights."
Kennedy said the plan had been to step up Disturbance in distance before Saturday's feature but through programming and form, he had been restricted to 1200m races where he has been successful in three straight open handicaps before his last-start Riccarton third.
"It wasn't actually that we targeted sprint races but it's just been through circumstances that he hasn't raced over 1400m till now," Kennedy said.
"And when he was winning those 1200m races, we thought why change something when it's working well?
"It's all been a bit of a time thing with him. Even though it's only six months, he's just strengthened into his body. He's always been a big, muscly horse but not as strong as we thought he was.
"Now he's winning races that he would have been running third and fourth placings in six months ago. Everyone who has been riding him says how physically strong he feels underneath them."
TAB bookmakers have Disturbance as a $6 fourth favourite for the Great Easter behind He Kin Fly at $4.60, Prince Oz at $5 and Kiwi Ida at $5.50.
"It's not as strong a field as I expected it to be and the step up to 1400m is ideal," Kennedy said.
"We'll ride him quietly from barrier 10 and he'll get his chance."
Kennedy said Disturbance would have a winter break after Saturday's race, indicating Hastings spring weight-for-age races could feature in his plans for next season.
"We've got to talk about what we do in the spring but he's run time to suggest he's good enough to target a good sprint fresh and then maybe step up to a mile.
"He should have a good year provided he's not weighted out of it. Saturday will tell us a few things." - NZ Racing Desk