A noticeable change in attitude is giving Hastings trainer John Bary optimism for a bold showing from Dalghar filly Cinzento in Saturday's Listed John Turkington Forestry Castletown Stakes (1200m) at Wanganui.
Bary describes Cinzento's demeanour as far more mellow as she prepares for the first two-year-old stakes race of winter.
"She's a grey and she's a Dalghar so we're hoping that's the right combination to pull off a winter feature," Bary said.
"She's done a bit wrong so far and beaten herself in some of her races but her worst runs have been fourth placings, so she's always been thereabouts.
"We've put her on Regu-mate (a hormone treatment) and that's really calmed her down. She gets a bit excitable and headstrong and we've really noticed a change in her, so hopefully that's the key component that's been missing so far."
Cinzento has had five starts for a second placing, a third and three fourth placings, among those a fourth placing in the Gr.2 Wakefield Challenge Stakes (1200m) at Trentham in December.
The winner that day was subsequent Karaka Million (1200m) runner-up Aotea Lad and behind Cinzento was She's A Lady, a $6.50 equal second favourite for the Castletown Stakes.
Cinzento is at $19 in the TAB's market for the Castletown, which is headed by All About Magic at $6.
"Adrian Clark bought her as part of his Challenge Syndicate and we've had a lot of success for Adrian. We'd like to think she could continue that but it really comes down to how she handles the track," Bary said.
"The track is the biggest worry, but we're liking the improvement we've seen in her. She's put on three kilos and that shows she's a happy horse. And she's tough - really tough mentally - and she's got the ability. She produced a couple of gallops that really turn your head.
"If she handles the track, we could go on to the Ryder Stakes (Listed, 1200m) and the O'Leary Fillies Stakes (Listed, 1200m) but if she goes no good, we'll turn her out and bring her back for the spring."
Bary has five acceptors for the Wanganui meeting, the others being The Cossack, Louboutin, Ripnroll and Smokin' Oak. - NZ Racing Desk