Mauna Kea is being set on a path towards the Gr.1 Livamol Classic (2040m) at Hastings in October after picking up his seventh career win in the Vets On Riverbank at Otaki on Saturday.
It would be his second tilt at elite level, after finishing unplaced in the Gr.1 Captain Cook Stakes (1600m) last year.
The six-year-old son of Per Incanto has just had the one run further than a mile, finishing third in a 2060m race last year, and his trainer Paul Moseley thinks that’s his ideal distance.
“The last start he had for (former trainer) Allan Sharrock was over 2060m in January last year and he ran third and that was his best race up until we got him,” he said.
“We gave him a mile to give him a run under his belt, and he ran second, so he has stuck with it ever since. He is bred to go over ground, his grandmother won the Grand National.”
While Mauna Kea holds nominations for the last two legs of the Hawke’s Bay triple crown, the Gr.1 Windsor Park Plate (1600m) and Livamol Classic, Mosely is leaning towards bypassing the Livamol Classic in favour of the Gr.3 Boehringer Ingelheim Metric Mile (1600m) at Awapuni next month.
“He’ll go to Hastings next for an Open 1600m race on the 31st (of August),” he said. “We are looking at the Metric Mile and the Livamol Classic, which is over 2040m.
“That’s our plan at this stage. We have got a nom for the Windsor Park, but we might just back off that one.”