Any improvement in the conditions at New Plymouth will boost the chances of consecutive wins for Virtuoso Lad.
The lightly-raced four-year-old broke through at his third appearance at Tauranga last time out and will chase a follow up Rating 65 victory in the Landmark Homes 1300m on Thursday.
“I’d like the track to come back a point, he’s a top of the ground horse,” trainer Karen Fursdon said.
“He didn’t like it at Avondale where there was a huge shower before the races so I’ll just keep an eye on things.”
By Exceed And Excel, Virtuoso Lad was ridden last time out by the in-form Troy Harris who has again been booked for the Taranaki meeting.
“Troy was very taken with him last time and said he’s still learning and is a progressive horse,” Fursdon said.
Also fitting into that category is Virtuoso Lad’s younger stablemate Le Sablier, who has been turned out after acquitting herself well against the best of her age group.
“She’s gone out for a spell, she’s been tremendous and we’re looking forward to the spring with her,” Fursdon said.
The Tavistock filly has yet to win a race, but went close when runner-up at both Rotorua and Hastings before she came from the tail of the field to finish fifth in the Group 3 Lowland Stakes (2100m).
Le Sablier was then out of the money in the Group 1 New Zealand Oaks (2400m).
“She was alright in the Oaks, when they quickened she couldn’t go with them,” Fursdon said.
“She didn’t like it on the fence either, she needs to get out into the open like she did in the Lowland.”