Sir Nate left no doubts that he should not be under-rated in the Manawatu Cup after he worked boldly at Awapuni this morning.
Fast work took place on the plough (good) and on the heavy No 1 grass.
Sir Nate used the plough and was at a good clip from the 1200m mark, to be timed from the 1000m in 1.3.4, the last 600 in 37.6.
The form-line may appear patchy, but he is as honest as they come, and his first major cup victory is within reach.
He drops several kilos to 53kg on Saturday and will be ridden by Darryl Bradley, who has won four of the last 18 Manawatu Cups, including Hunta Pence last year.
Time honours on the plough went to Extraordinaire (by Tavistock) and un-raced three-year-old Joian (by Turn Me Loose), who were paired over 800m in 51.2, the last 600 in 36.6.
Extraordinaire finished third on debut at Woodville in October, and both horses are trained by Peter Didham.
Their new stablemate Cage Phyta did a quiet round and a half before gathering speed from the 800m on the second circuit to sprint home the last 600 in 36.6 as well.
Transitory, unplaced when resuming on Wanganui Cup day, ran 1000m in 1.8 even, the last 600 in 39.9, and Platinum Lining (by Kermadec) and Platinum Assault (by Sir Prancelaot), two more from the Latta barn, did 800m in 54 even, the last 600 in 39.6.
Saturday's Manawatu entrant He's A Doozy (r74 mile) was kept to 1000m in 1.14.9, the last 600 in 40.8, while Cavani (by Vespa), unplaced on debut early last month, and un-raced filly Silver Eagle, by Vespa as well, ran 800m in 55.1 and 41.1.
Top Manawatu Cup prospect House Of Cartier warmed up in the oval before coming out to sprint 600m in 41.5. She looks in fantastic order.
Belclare covered 800m in a steady 58.7, the last 600 in 43.3, while a Darci Brahma gelding and a Telperion filly, both trained by Mike Breslin, sprinted 60m in 44.4.
On the No 1 grass, Lincoln's Kruz, racing Saturday (r74 1200m), and Flickering Shadow matched strides over 800m in 52.2, the last 600 in 39.4. Lincoln's Kruz is a big chance if he handles the track.
Raffle and Princess Ani, likely rivals in the r65 1400m, came in from the 800m in 53.7, the last 600 in 39.4. Lisa Allpress rides Raffle from a wide gate.
Prince Turbo and Nun So Bad were on terms throughout 800m in 53 even, the last 600 in 39.6, and their stablemate Flying Surf went alone and posted the same times.
Platinum Bordeaux, a leading contender for the r65 2100m, worked on her own as well, covering 800m in 54.6, the last 600 in 39.8. Some of her best form has been on heavy tracks.
Lurid (r65 1400m) and Platinum Star went 1000m together in 1.11.5, coming the final 800m in 54.6, the last 600 in 40.9.
Tweedledee (r65 2100m) was doing solid work over 1000m in 1.9.7, with his final 800m taking 53.9, the last 600 in 41 even, while Valinor (by Telperion), who debuts in Saturday's juvenile, and un-raced Ghibellines four-year-old Hikon clocked 1.11.4, 55 seconds even and 41.8.
Glide Queen (r65 1400m), who worked in fine style on Tuesday, was kept to 800m in 56.2, the last 600 in 41.4, and stablemate and likely race rival Balalaika took 57.7 and 42.4.
Son Of Thunder (3yo 1400m) left 800m behind in an easy 58.4, the last 600 in 43.3, while a Sweynesse filly and a Charm Spirit filly, both trained by Lisa Latta, recorded 59.6 and 44.5.