Three-year-old gelding Caithness Kid will get his first opportunity at stakes level when he lines-up in the Listed HS Dyke Wanganui Guineas (1340m) on Saturday.
The son of Keeper put in an eye-catching run late to win his first-up run at Matamata last week although trainer Karen Nicholson believes he still has a bit to learn.
“I felt he was still a little bit green and a little bit hesitant,” she said. “I thought they would be a bit quick for him, but he just settles naturally. It’s quite uncanny really.
“I think he’s not a bad little horse, but you don’t know until you actually race them. He’s been a bit quirky, but he’s very professional in his barrier and actual race.”
Caithness Kid raced twice as a juvenile and Nicholson said he has matured slightly heading into his three-year-old season.
“He’s not a very big horse, he’s only little, but he’s rounded up a bit,” she said. “He’s a very cocky horse, which I suppose they have to be when they are little.”
Nicholson said Caithness Kid has pulled up well after his last start and that has given her the confidence to press on towards the Wanganui Guineas.
“I have only put him in because it’s not long since his last start and he has pulled up quite well,” she said.
“He was a tad lost the other day. I am not a definite starter, but it is looking likely at this stage.”
While already performed on a heavy surface, Nicholson does hold some concerns about the rain-affected track conditons.
“It would be nice to see him on a bit better ground, but I don’t think we will get that this weekend (rated a Heavy10 on Wednesday).
“I haven’t got a rider yet, I can’t really put an inexperienced apprentice on him, that’s the trouble.”
Nicholson believes Caithness Kid, who has drawn barrier eight in the nine horse field, will handle stepping up to 1340m for the first time, but does hold concerns over the forecast heading into Saturday.
“I am sure he will go the distance, but the weather forecast is not that flash.” – NZ Racing Desk