Cambridge galloper He's Remarkable is poised for a showdown with New Zealand's horse of the moment Mufhasa in Sydney next month.
Trainer Roger James outlined plans for a three-start autumn preparation culminating in the Gr I A$2 million Doncaster Handicap (1600m) at Randwick on April 21 after watching the Pentire four-year-old entire in an exhibition gallop between races at Matamata on Saturday.
James said He's Remarkable would resume in the Gr III A$125,000 Newcastle Newmarket Handicap (1400m) on March 21, ahead of the Gr I A$400,000 George Ryder Stakes (1500m) at Rosehill on April 7 and the Doncaster.
Auckland trainer Stephen McKee has also earmarked the George Ryder as a possible target for Saturday's Gr I Futurity Stakes winner Mufhasa.
Ridden over a lap of the Matamata track, He's Remarkable, ridden by Jason Waddell, was hand-timed to run his last 1000m in 1:2.8 and last 600 in 36.3 on a slow track.
James said He's Remarkable would have a further public hitout before travelling to Australia, either in a trial or more likely in another exhibition gallop at Matamata on March 14.
"He'll just need another good hitout to bring him on but the way he galloped today, I'm more than happy with the way he's going," James said.
"I've been thrilled with him right the way through really. That's the most he's done this time back but that will have done him a lot of good."
He's Remarkable was spelled after his controversial relegation into second after he was first past the post in the Gr I A$1 million Railway Stakes (1600m) in Perth in November.
He was unable to make the field for the Gr I Emirates Stakes (1600m) at Flemington but was a decisive winner of a Rating 95 race on the undercard, prompting James to travel him to Perth.
He's Remarkable has won five of his 15 starts for earnings of more than $595,000 but a Gr I win in Australia would stamp his credentials for a future stud career.
Saturday's exhibition gallop was Waddell's first ride on He's Remarkable and the Cambridge jockey couldn't have been any more impressed with his mount.
"He's a lovely galloper. He was doing it so easily," Waddell said.
- Waikato Times