Hot Fuss is expected to acquit herself well on her home track on Thursday ahead of the sternest test of her career.
The Riccarton-trained filly will run in Rating 75 company in the Sonia & Garry Thompson Handicap (2000m) before a tilt at the Gr.1 Al Basti Equiworld Dubai New Zealand Oaks (2400m) at Trentham.
“They’re only three once and she looks like she will get over more ground and we can’t get her any fitter,” said Kevin Hughes, who trains the daughter of Pins with his wife Pam.
Hot Fuss was stakes placed in the spring when runner-up to Kiwi Ida in the Listed Canterbury Belle Stakes (1200m) and she has subsequently raced with credit over more ground.
Her most recent starts over 2000m have yielded third placings, both times at Riccarton.
“She’s pretty honest and we rode her a bit upside down last time, she’s better dropping back and rolling home,” Hughes said.
“It’s only a small field on Thursday and we’re sure she’ll run very well.”
Stablemate Speedy Jax will oppose Hot Fuss when he takes another step toward a return to jumping.
Placed twice from four starts over fences, he has won seven times on the flat and has finished in behind the placegetters in both of his outings following a spell.
“He’s ticking over and waiting for the jumps, but he can go a cheeky race,” Hughes said.
Their other representative is Bonaparte, who will run in the Koru Care Charity Dinner- 23 March Rating 75 (1200m).
A three-time course and distance winner, he has drawn well and will benefit from Rafi Firdhaus’ two kilo claim.