Ben Ropiha’s aim of sending Ripnroll to the paddock as a winner was fulfilled at Te Aroha.
The Cambridge trainer’s plan was perfectly executed on Sunday when the promising youngster opened his account and will now be spelled ahead of black type spring targets.
“He’s still a bit rough around the edges and he had a good look around and shied at the post, but he was still impressive,” Ropiha said.
“He’s going through a growing spell. He’s a pretty smart horse and he was only 80 per cent yesterday, but I thought that would be enough.
“I didn’t want to bring him back as a maiden three-year-old and now we can have him back in the spring with a plan for the Hawke’s Bay Guineas and hopefully on to Riccarton.”
The Rip Van Winkle gelding had finished sixth on debut and third at Te Awamutu before breaking through under Troy Harris at Te Aroha.
“He’s always showed plenty of ability and he was unlucky not to win his first start at Hawke’s Bay,” Ropiha said.
“When he ran third behind Cyber Attack he was a bit slow away. He got over-racing and didn’t corner that well, he’s still untapped.”
Meanwhile, longer-term plans for the Group performer Doiknowyou have still to be confirmed following his run for fifth in Saturday’s Kiwifruit Cup (2100m) after getting back in the field.
“He’s never won from behind in his life,” Ropiha said.
“I’ve thought about backing him up at Hastings on Saturday or we’ll go to Wellington for the Parliamentary.”
Doiknowyou finished runner-up in last year’s Group 3 Winter Cup (1600m) and a southern trip remains on the cards.
“If he won at Wellington he would probably stay up here, otherwise we can freshen him up for Riccarton again,” Ropiha said.