Andrew Forsman will have a dual role when Ole Ole runs in the inaugural Taranaki Challenge at Pukekura.
Forsman trains the three-year-old in partnership with Murray Baker and is the co-owner of Ole Ole with breeder Brett Wilkinson.
Saturday’s $100,000 1400m-Challenge at New Plymouth is modelled on the concept of the $13 million Everest in Sydney but rather than being for elite horses, it is a special conditions maiden.
Ole Ole will run in Sir Patrick and Lady Justine Hogan’s slot and has been installed the $3.50 favourite but Forsman is not quite as confident as the price assessors.
Although Ole Ole won his most recent start, he remained eligible because he was still a maiden when the field was decided.
“He’s on the way up and we really only gave him that run to have him ready for this race so he would have taken a lot of improvement from that,” Forsman told NZ Racing Desk.
“He scrambled around a bit and didn’t really like the ground. I was impressed with it because it wasn’t the weakest maiden you’d see either
“But I’m not going into this race with high hopes.
“I just think the track will be too heavy for him especially against some of those older, more experienced ones.”
On Thursday, the track was rated as a heavy 11, a rating one point worse than the maximum in Australia.
Despite his misgivings about the track, Forsman believes Ole Ole is a horse with talent and says if he measures he will look at sending him to Sydney for the Gloaming Stakes (1800m) hoping he can earn his way to the Group One Spring Champion Stakes (2000m).
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