Trainer Gary Colvin hopes Wagga is the talk of the town in Sydney on Saturday when his Sizzling Cat and Wayne Carroll's Sumdeel go head to head in the $100,000 Highway Handicap (1800m) at Rosehill.
Both are back again after Sumdeel (third) and Sizzling Cat (sixth) closed strongly over a mile at Kembla Grange a fortnight ago, although the draws have been unkind.
Barrier 11 (and likely to start from 10 in a field of 14) isn't ideal for Sizzling Cat although the blinkers come off and Colvin hopes jockey Tyler Schiller can be positive and find a spot midfield.
"It's a tricky draw again and if the pace isn't on, we're in trouble. That's what happened last time, with no pace, we got shuffled back... we couldn't do much from where we were but he got home really good," Colvin said.
"Let's hope the 1800m will suit him. He's worked well so we'll have another crack. But we need a bit of luck. Wayne's horse went well last time too actually, so I hope we fight it out."
Sizzling Cat was beaten less than half a length four weeks ago, when second in a 1500m Highway at Rosehill, and was a $4.60 favourite with NSW TAB on Friday.
Sumdeel was at $7.50 and Carroll has no doubt the 1800m won't trouble the Dundeel mare. She hasn't raced over more than a mile but gives every indication the extra distance will suit.
"Absolutely, 2000 is probably even her go, going forward. She'll relish that (1800). Kerrin McEvoy got off last time and said the thing that cost her was it was just too short for her," Carroll said, although drawing the widest gate is rotten luck.
"We're obviously disappointed with the barrier, especially at Rosehill, it's very important.
"In saying that, this is where we were heading all along, this time in. And she's fit and well but we will need some luck from the draw."
Carroll believes there isn't much between the top half-dozen chances and a lot will hinge on the run.
"They're hard races to win, that's for sure. They're $100,000 races so no-one's going to give them away," he said.
Colvin was already in Sydney on Friday with Kurocain in at Randwick (Kensington track), running a creditable fifth in the $50,000 benchmark 72 handicap over 1250m.
Colivin said the six-year-old earned a shot in town and - freshened up after a handy win at Albury a month ago - finished two-and-a-half lengths behind Bjorn Baker's winner Exotic Ruby.
Meantime, the Colvin stable also has Bravado Lass racing at Albury on Saturday in a benchmark 50 over 1500m.
"That's a nice race for her, she gets down in the weights a bit, I hope she can acquit herself well," Colvin said.
Hannah Williams rides at 58kg with her claim, as the nine-year-old mare chases her first win since the Tumut Mile back in January.
Revellers (65kg) is the top-weight, and one of three runners for Wagga trainer Tim Donnelly at the six-race Albury meeting.
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