Talented three-year-olds Kermadec and Hi World both impressed onlookers with their performances in a barrier trial at Rosehill Gardens this morning.
The star duo contested the fourth barrier trial of the morning over 900 metres and were kept under a heavy hold by their respective jockeys throughout, but were still able to hit the line well to finish behind Courtza King and Better Land.
Kermadec was making his first public appearance since he hit the line strongly to take out the Group 1 Doncaster Mile (1600m) at Royal Randwick on April 6 and he is working towards the start of his spring campaign.
The Group 1 Cox Plate (2040m) at Moonee Valley on October 24 was expected to be the major 2015 Spring Racing Carnival target for Kermadec, but Waller revealed on Sunday that the Group 1 George Main Stakes (1600m) at Royal Randwick on September 19, the Group 1 Epsom Handicap (1600m) at Royal Randwick on October 3 and Group 1 Emirates Stakes (1600m) at Flemington on November 7 are all more likely targets for the son of Teofilo.
Hi World has only had the seven race starts, but he stamped himself as a horse to follow as a four-year-old when he took out the Group 3 Carbine Club Stakes (1600m) at Royal Randwick on April 6 and the Group 3 Frank Packer Plate (2000m) at the same venue on April 18 at the end of his autumn preparation.
Courtza King was making his first public appearance since he recorded a strong win in the Cellarbrations Handicap (1400m) at Warwick Farm on March 25 and he showed plenty of early speed to record an impressive win.
There was a great deal expected of Better Land at the start of the 2014 Spring Racing Carnival, but he was unable to record a race win and he was sent to the spelling paddock after he finished at the tail of the field in the Group 1 Golden Rose Stakes (1400m) at Rosehill Gardens on September 13.
Better Land was unable to return to his best form in the autumn, but his barrier trial effort suggests that he might be able to put it altogether as a four-year-old during the spring.
2014 Victoria Derby winner Preferment rounded out the fourth barrier trial of the morning, but he was outpaced in the early stages and he remained at the tail of the field throughout.
Kermadec is currently available at 2015 Cox Plate odds of $13 with Ladbrokes, while Hi World is priced at a quote of $34.