Canberra trainer Nick Olive is currently preparing stable stars Zaratone and Voice Commander for their upcoming campaigns following recent spells.
Zaratone enjoyed a successful Sydney autumn carnival campaign earlier in the year, winning three of his six race starts.
“I was pleasantly surprised with his form last preparation,” Olive said.
The rising six-year-old gelding is said to be progressing well since returning from his winter break.
“He returned to the stable around two months ago and has been going really well,” Olive said.
“He had a jump out and ran great, I was very impressed with him.”
Zaratone will most likely have to step up in grade due to the high rating he has earned for himself.
“With his rating now so high he is getting hard to place in races but we will probably look for something in town over the next couple weeks and just see how he goes and take it from there,” Olive said.
Voice Commander, who won three country cups last campaign, has also returned to Olive’s Canberra stables.
“He has come back so well, I don’t think I have ever seen him look so good,” Olive said.
“He only came back two weeks ago and is still probably eight weeks away from a start but we will look to step him up in distance again this preparation.”
The six-year-old finished last in the Listed W.J. McKell Cup last start, a finish the trainer puts down to an increased distance and a long preparation.
“The 2400 metres was probably a bit too far for him but it was the end of the preparation and he was a bit tired,” he said.
Voice Commander is nominated for this year’s NSW Country Champion Of The Year.
“It is a great thrill to be nominated for country horse of the year and hopefully he can win the award,” Olive said.
Nick Olive will claim the Canberra Trainer’s Premiership for the second consecutive season with 25 city winners.
“The stable is going great and everything is really good at the moment we have a few young ones coming through and hopefully we can continue our good run.”