*”We are pretty happy with the way the team is shaping. As Mark has noted we have had a lot of bad weather at just the wrong day-Saturdays for example when we have big hopple days we seem to have struck one damp one after another.

I’ve got to pay a big compliment to Callam here, our track manager. Without him we wouldn’t have got through the work we have. He has played a major role in any spring success we might have. It is not just his his conditioning of the track it is the work he puts in in between making the tracks better all the time. You just have to have that sort of support when you are handling the number of horses we have many of them eligible for big money races. If you lose a day you are catching up. Callam’s work has allowed us to keep up to date much better than we expected given the weather.

*It is no good asking us in too much detail about the plans for some of the horses. We haven’t really sat down and closed off programmes for them because of the various possibilities. Anything we decide today could change tomorrow. Its all part of the job. We can be reasonably certain where we are going but not actually certain so it is no good labelling races we might not have them in.

A good example is SELF ASSURED and the programmes here make things a little hard for him. In fact I am not really happy with Addington at the moment. AMAZING DREAM wasn’t going to race at Addington (Thursday) originally because it was a four year old and over race but fortunately they changed that.

But Mark and I are still unhappy about the Junior Free for All on Cup Day being 2600m because then you are asking good horses to drop back to 1980m for the Free for All on the Friday. It is not new we have been keen for a change for a good while now.

It means SELF ASSURED might have to resume in the NZ Free for All. You wouldn’t ask him to resume over 2600m and back up so it could be the Free for All and he will be short of top racing condition for that unless he can get some racing into him before then. He needs another trial before that is decided. He has come up well-just continued on from where he left off basically.

I know we are in a different position from many but it is not easy placing horses under some current programming.

Recently an HRNZ handicapper assured me Addington caters for the better horses. On Thursday the opening race was for R40 to R42 horses. What do you think ?

Personally I would like to see greater catering for better class horses

We will have a heap in the Sires Stakes next week but exactly who makes the cut can still change. ONE CHANGE was really good at the trials and ITALIAN LAD is over his little setback so they are bound to be there. AQUA SANCTA was a little off colour after the last heat as we thought and VIRGIL not at his peak either. We think they can go better than that.

Sunday at Methven will tell us a little more about NZ Cup plans so hope the weather holds !