A trimmer Scott Base will be on display when he chases a major three-year-old prize.
The son of Dalghar paraded on the portly side at Awapuni on Sunday and still managed to win the Southern Rangitikei Veterinary Services Premier (1300m) under jockey Rosie Myers ahead of a trip to Ellerlie.
“To be honest, it was a peach of a ride from Rosie,” said Johno Benner, who trains with his partner Hollie Wynyard. “He was only half ready. He’s only had three gallops and hasn’t had a trial or jump-out.
“The Karaka Million 3YO Classic has always been our plan and if it’s a wet night he’ll be right in it up to his eyeballs.”
On Sunday, Scott Base sat in behind the leader and when he got the split 200m from home he accelerated quickly to win by a widening length and a-quarter.
“Johno said to be quiet on him early,” Myers said. “He’s a really nice horse, as soon as I asked him to go he gave plenty.”
Scott Base was making his first appearance since he ran eighth in the Group 1 New Zealand 2000 Guineas (1600m) after finishing runner-up behind Ever Loyal in the Listed Zacinto Stakes (1600m).
“Things didn’t go right and maybe the tracks were a bit hard for him,” Benner said. “We knew he was a lot better than that so we just had to take it on the chin and get him back home.”
Scott Base’s latest performance has seen his Group 1 Vodafone New Zealand Derby (2400m) odds tumble from $41 to $26.
“We’ve always thought he is a Derby horse,” Benner said. “He’s won at 1300 and 1400m so whether he runs the distance only time will tell.”