Chris Wood is an unabashed fan of The Oaks Stud stallion Bachelor Duke.
The Cambridge trainer has 10 gallopers in his stable by the American-bred Miswaki sire, including two horses he hopes will triumph in the coming days.
Wood will saddle six-year-old Bachelor Duke gelding Single Currency in tomorrow's Listed $50,000 Timpson Family Trust Sprint (1200m) at Te Rapa, while he will today nominate Bachelor Duke four-year-old gelding Open 'N' Shut for next Wednesday's $30,000 Rating 85 1400m event at Riccarton.
''I'm a huge fan of Bachelor Duke,'' Wood said.
''I reckon Open 'N' Shut could be the best horse I've ever trained. I've got about 10 Bachelor Dukes in my stable and they are good horses.''
Single Currency goes into tomorrow's handicap sprint second-up, having resumed with a creditable fifth placing at Whanganui behind next Wednesday's Gr II Coupland Bakeries Mile favourite Nashville.
''He went a good race first-up. He wasn't far away and I think he'll be a big chance on Saturday,'' Wood said.
A winner of six of his 16 starts, Single Currency has three times raced in stakes company but has yet to place, though Wood said it was only a rain-affected track that cost him victory in last year's Coupland's Mile, when he finished fifth.
''He should have won the Coupland's Mile last year but he struggled with the wet track,'' Wood said.
''It rained the morning of the race and never stopped raining. I thought he could win but he rain fifth. He was cruising but he just didn't cope with the track conditions. He's a good horse up to a dead track.''
Single Currency was found to have bone chips on a fetlock after the Coupland's Mile and underwent surgery to have them removed last summer.
For that reason, he has been further behind in his preparation this spring and Wood has opted to bypass the Riccarton feature.
''He just got a bit behind and I like them to be performing and paying their way down there,'' Wood said.
''He's had that one run back and he's nice and free in his action. He's bright and happy and all good. He's worked up well and I'm really happy with him.''
Wood said the 1200m tomorrow suited Single Currency.
''He's a pretty handy horse. It's a pretty even field and I wouldn't want to label one. It's a pretty good field but when you race for $50,000 in New Zealand, you know they are all going to turn up,'' Wood said.
''He'll go a good race. He'll be very hard to beat.''
- © Fairfax NZ News