The Mountain has to rise to a big challenge at Wagga on Friday.
Coming off a career best performance, Brett Woodhouse lines the big three-year-old up in the final round of NSW Breeders Challenge heats.
He was sixth at his first attempt at Leeton last month but comes into the race off a tough win.
Sitting without cover throughout, The Mountain clocked a career best mile rate of 1:54.0 as he brought up his ninth career win.
Going past $50,000 in earnings in the process, the Wagga trainer was thrilled with his efforts.
"The horse went the best he's ever gone last time so I'm just hoping he can go as good," Woodhouse said.
However he knows he faces a much bigger challenge this time around, especially up against the in-form The Stain.
The Stain has won three of his four starts for Murrumbateman trainer Corey Parker this season with his only blemish a second behind group one winner Bar Room Banta in track record time at Leeton.
The Stain has drawn barrier two while The Mountain will start from five
Woodhouse believes he'll be very hard to beat.
"I think The Stain is almost unbeatable so I'm just hoping we can run second," he said.
"He's a good horse and he's got good gate speed so I just can't see him getting beat.
"I was happy enough to bypass it, but the owner was keen to run him in it so he gets his shot and apart from The Stain the rest look pretty even."
Woodhouse also has a full-sister to The Mountain on debut.
Esther Rising comes into the two-year-old race to start the program off a trial win.
Woodhouse is pleased with how she's progressing.
"She goes alright and I've been happy with her," he said.
"She is a syndicate horse who has 85 owners and I'm sure they will get a thrill by seeing her go around.
"They've been very patient after buying her through the yearling sales and she's finally getting to the races."
The filly is owned by the Send It Syndicate and Woodhouse is disappointed they won't be able to be trackside with Riverina Paceway still closed to the public.
He was expecting around 50 to be on track.
"I'm pretty happy with her but I've sort of rushed her thinking everyone could come to Wagga to watch her," Woodhouse said.
"I've thrown her in the deep end a little bit but I think she should go alright.
"It's just unfortunate Wagga doesn't race for another month now so they'll just have to be a bit more patient before they can come and see her."