Gallant Boy will be on trial for higher honours when he runs at Riccarton on Saturday.
The six-year-old will step out in Saturday’s Listed Speights Timaru Stakes (1400m) and a bold showing could see him strengthen the stable’s hand in the Group 3 White Robe Lodge (1600m) on their home track seven days later.
“We’ll have Tommy Tucker and Coulee in it and maybe Fascinate and Gallant Boy if he runs well,” said Wingatui horseman Brian Anderton, who trains with his son Shane.
Tommy Tucker finished runner-up to Coulee, who was then in receipt of six kilos, in the 2017 White Robe and he is well-placed to go one better with this year’s change from handicap to weight-for-age conditions.
“It’s going to suit him ideally, he’s usually carrying 60kg in open company,” Anderton said.
“A lot of good horses have won it over the years, but there aren’t the horses around now and something had to be done, otherwise we would lose the Group status of the race.”
Gallant Boy has been in good form this preparation, opening with a resuming third on his home track followed by a Cromwell win and a runner-up finish at Ascot Park over 2150m.
He has since been freshened and the brother to the Listed Riverton Cup (2147m) winner Patrick Erin will drop back to 1400m on Saturday. They are both raced by Christchurch breeder and long-time stable client Pat Smith.
“Gallant Boy’s well and he’s got a lot more speed than Patrick,” Anderton said.