Unbeaten three-year-old gelding Dawn Patrol will now head to Riccarton next month to contest the Gr.1 Al Basti Equiworld Dubai New Zealand 2000 Guineas (1600m) after pleasing trainer Frank Ritchie in his 1200m trial at Te Aroha on Thursday.

“We’ve had a trial and we’re happy,” Ritchie said. “He just had a trial at Te Aroha and ran third to Passing Shot I’m very happy with it.

“At this stage we are going. We are happy with the run and I needed to give him something between his last run and the 2000 Guineas. Unless something arises in the next couple of weeks we well be going.”

The son of Dawn Approach has won both of his career starts and while Ritchie would have liked to have a little more time to educate the youngster, he believes his charge has the ability to be a major player in the 2000 Guineas.

“I think he has got all the talent you probably need, however he doesn’t have a lot of ringcraft,” Ritchie said. “He wants to over-race from time-to-time, but he was pretty good today in the trial.

“It would be nice to have the race another couple of months away, but it’s only education, I’m not worried about fitness and I am pretty sure he is up to them.”