For Bob Sullivan, Shepparton is just a few minutes away from his home, a trip to Ballarat is all-but three hours while Bendigo is half that.
On Friday, however, the former Bargo (NSW) trainer treks further afield, north to Wagga for the first time with the well-related Mercury Icon.
Mercury Icon is a member of a complete winning, eight-strong litter by super sire Fernando Bale out of Time No Money, with Mercury Icon the most prolific (10 wins).
Though new to the Wagga track, Mercury Icon is suited at 400m and has been quite consistent in recent weeks.
She's won five of her past nine starts and when second to Aston Profit at Shepparton on November 22, her personal time of 21.75 was only .01 outside her best at the track.
Short-course racing is about making no mistakes and the start will be crucial for Sullivan's brindle lass.
Her record from wide boxes is sound yet there's genuine speed to the left. Fellow Victorian Snack Attack (box one) arrives with a record not dissimilar in profile to Mercury Icon and he's won at Shepparton in 21.73.
Balt (box two) is a six-time winner at Wagga over 400m, Lorraine Roy's 20-race winner Every Chance (box four) has saluted nine times at the track/distance, the consistent La La Louis (box five) can never be underestimated while Logical Chance looks to complete a hat-trick of Wagga wins from box six.
While Wagga does not race next Friday, December 10, the club has an otherwise busy Christmas period of racing ahead.
"Our New Year's Eve meeting is always a lot of fun and we're again making it a Hawaiian-themed night. We did the same last year and it was terrific ... a lot of new faces were here, it's free entry, a night for the young and the young at heart," Wagga secretary-manager John Patton said.
"Face painting and jumping castles will be here for the kids and live entertainment on until the night's racing concludes."
The first of 11 races at Wagga on Friday gets underway at 6.39pm.
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