Full Noise and Brent Barclay make a winning debut at Ascot Park. Photo: Wild Range Photography.
Southland has three of the top 12 qualifiers for the $125,000 Group 1 2YO Ruby at Cambridge on June 2 and the first of them has already arrived in the north.
Full Noise sits fifth on the leaderboard courtesy of his comprehensive win at Invercargill on May 5 - for trainer Brett Gray and owner Baynes Racing Limited - during which he set a 2700-metre stand start New Zealand record for a two-year-old.
“He left for Derek Balle last week and arrived there on Sunday,” said Gray.
Already based with Balle is the Tony Stratford-trained War Machine, co-owned by Kenny Baynes who is also part of Baynes Racing.
He is fifth on the leaderboard for the $125,000 Group 1 4YO Ruby and he races at Cambridge on Thursday night.
Whether Southland's representation of juvenile trotters at the Jewels increases will be decided on Friday night after the Sires Stakes at Addington.
Tolkien, who holds 12th by just $70, has drawn six and Kirk Larsen is not expecting a repeat of the gallop which took him out of calculations for the Trotting Oaks back in March.
“I don't know what caused him to do that, he's had a couple of trials since and I was happy with him last week,” Larsen said of his fourth at Winton.
“I drove him as conservatively as I could, didn't get a go until late and was pleased with the way he ran home.”
Tolkein clocked 3:04.6 for the mobile 2400 which impressed Larsen for a juvenile against older horses.
“He's worked well since, is as good as he can be, I hope that's good enough. He'll either carry on (north) or come home.”
Get Lucky is eighth on the leaderboard and Alister Black has made a couple of gear changes for this week.
After finishing second on debut in the Trotting Stakes on 31 March, the son of Lucky Chucky veered out sharply after passing the post.
When second favourite for the Yearling Sale Final last Friday, he veered out at the same place but there was still a lap to go.”
“I've taken the murphy blind (near-side) off and put a half pole on.” said Black, who is currently based at Temuka.
“I took him to Timaru and worked him in the gear and he went real nice.
“He's got the visitor's draw (15) though, so he'll have to follow other horses and that might help, but he'll also need a whole lot of luck.”