Underthemoonlight left no doubts about her fitness for Rotorua on the weekend when she galloped impressively at Matamata this morning.
Working on the sand later in the session when fog affecting early timing had cleared, Underthemoonlight cut out 1000m under a strong hold from her trainer Karyn McQuade. She was timed over the distance in 1:03.4 and the final 600m in 37.8, indicating that was at peak for her rescheduled assignment in the Rotorua Stakes on Sunday.
Most other horses with weekend engagements galloped on the course proper, where the ground 18 metres out was at the far end of the slow range. Tavis Star (Fawcett) caught the eye as she prepared for her fresh-up run at Te Rapa on Saturday, shading Corporate Missile (Leveque) at the end of 1000m in 1:07.9 and 38.9.
Te Rapa entries Babe (Gorham) and Mahalo (Tynan) had pace on from the start of their hitout over 1000m, recording 1:06.4 and 39.8 for the final 600m. Suffire (Coleman) prepared for Te Rapa with sound work over 1000m in 1:06.7 and 39, while Rotorua candidate Save The Stars (S Weatherley) returned 1:06.8 and 39.2.
Last-start Te Rapa winner Galaxy Miss (Dowling) looked well as she strolled over 1200m in 1:32.2, 1000m in 1:13.4 and 600m in 41.8. Keep On Coming (Coleman) impressed with the way she completed her work ahead of Te Rapa with 1200m in 1:25.5, 1:08.6 and 39.2.
Rainbow Song (C Grylls) and Divine Duke (S Weatherley) cut out 1000m in 1:08.8 and 39.8, De Chine (C Grylls) took 1:07.6 and 40, while Esprit de Corps (Miller) and Abbey Kay (Pinn) returned 1:07.5 and 39.2.
Te Rapa candidates Pacquiao (Tynan) and Fame Seeker (Fraser-Hayes) were paired in good work over 1200m in 1:21.5, 1:07.1 and 40.3. The Boy Wonder (C Grylls) and Avec Moi (S Weatherley) took 1:09.3 and 38.1 over 1000m, while Foreigner (Miller) was well held over the same ground in 1:11.8 and 40.
On the all-weather track, Valante (S McKay) and Perfectly Ready gelding (P McKay) were paired over 1000m in 1:03.2 and 37. On the sand Claydon (M Brosnan) covered 1000m in 1:07.7 and 40.2, while over the same ground Miss Horotiu (Coleman) was kept to 1:11.2, with restricting her final section to 56.8 for 800m.