Progress on the flat in the coming months will determine if El Bayardo is to be tried in a new role.
“He’s been doing plenty of schooling and he was to have gone to the jumping trials last Sunday, but they were cancelled,” trainer Stephen Nickalls said.
“We’re not sure yet whether he will have a jumping race this winter, he’s probably more than capable of getting a couple more on the flat so we’ll see what happens.”
El Bayardo has turned in two encouraging efforts of late and the booking of Lisa Allpress might be key to his chances of adding to his record in the Power Related Services 2200m at Tauherenikau on Thursday.
“He’s a grinding staying type of horse and he needs to get going early,” Nickalls said.
“Lisa has won on him before and with the rain coming we’ve got our fingers crossed.”
El Bayardo, whose two wins have come on wet ground, finished fifth at Hawke’s Bay two runs and followed up with a third placing at Woodville.
“We’ve gone up a grade to Rating 75 to get some weight relief – he’s only a pony,” Nickalls said.
He is also hoping for a winter track at his home meeting at Awapuni on Saturday for the lightly-raced Zac Brown, who runs in The Rat Hole Bulls/John Turkington Forestry Handicap (2100m).
“He loves the mud and we’ve got Lisa on so we’re pretty lucky,” Nickalls said.
“He missed the kick the other day at Woodville and got too far back. “Hopefully, he’ll get up there with them this time and he’s very well.”