A below-par gallop at Matamata this morning has put a query over pre-post Manawatu Sires’ Produce Stakes favourite Yourdeel.

The last-start Sistema Stakes winner is the clear favourite at $2.60 on the TAB’s fixed odds market to complete the two-year-old autumn Group One double at Awapuni on Saturday. But the Dundeel gelding looked anything but when overshadowed by stablemate and race rival Equinox over the final stages of the Jamie Richards-trained pair’s 1000-metre hitout.

Yourdeel’s rider Opie Bosson offered no encouragement when he reported that he felt nothing like what he expected, leaving Richards to ponder his weekend assignment.

“Apart from what we just saw everything else about him has been fine, his bloods are good and he’s very bright,” Richards said. “We’ll keep pushing on for now and see how he looks in a bit of three-quarter-pace work on Thursday.”

Balancing that, Richards was left well satisfied that Equinox, the winner of two of this three starts, is right on target for Awapuni. With last-start winning rider Michael McNab under suspension, the Exceed And Excel colt will be ridden on Saturday by Johnathan Parkes.

“He’s a talented colt and is obviously very well, all we want is a decent track,” commented Richards.