Wagga trainer Graham Byatt hopes the booking of leading Southern District jockey Mathew Cahill can help overcome a couple of 'sticky' draws with his two strong chances at Murrumbidgee Turf Club on Tuesday.
The Byatt team will be headed by Demanding Mo in the Cottontails Restaurant & Winery Benchmark 74 Handicap (1400m) and Cranberry King in the Wagga RSL Club Maiden Plate (1300m), where Cahill is booked to ride both.
The third member of the Byatt team, Big Teddy, is likely to be saved for another day.
Demanding Mo has only been with Byatt since December and was a winner on his home track two starts ago before failing to beat a runner home in a Highway Handicap at Randwick on New Year's Day.
Demanding Mo has drawn the outside in the field of eight on Tuesday but hopes with some M Cahill magic that the 2020 Albury Guineas winner can be right in the finish.
"I think he'll go good. I'm not too concerned about (the barrier)," Byatt said.
"There's only eight in it and he's drawn eight. It won't hurt him to be out there and he'll jump and go forward, hopefully with a bit of cover. He's got to have cover otherwise he overdoes it.
"We've got Maty Cahill on both of them so we've got the gun rider on. I think they are a couple of good genuine chances."
Byatt explained that it should pay to forgive Demaning Mo's last run, where he was beaten just over five lengths by Banju, who came out and won another Highway last Saturday.
"I wouldn't be too concerned about that run the other day. He didn't travel extremely well, he played up a bit when he was up there and then he missed the start. Nothing went right," he said.
"He should be very competitive. A drop in weight, a little bit higher benchmark but carrying the 55.5 will help him too.
"He'll start here and if he goes alright, he'll probably go to the Tumut Cup I think. That would be a nice race for him."
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Cranberry King has run two good races to kick off his career with a fourth placing at Albury on debut backed up by a second at Wagga's last meeting.
Byatt though will give Cahill the option to ride the three-year-old slightly different on Tuesday.
"We're just drawn a little bit sticky out in the 10. I'm going to suggest to Maty that he doesn't have to lead like he did last start," he said.
"If he will settle and come back underneath him, sitting in the first four or five with a bit of cover, it could be a good time to teach him something because win, lose or draw (on Tuesday) I think he'll go to the paddock. It might be a good time to experiment a little bit, I'd be quite happy if he does settle and go back. He jumps out well, he's got that good gate speed so you don't want to waste that either."
Byatt is confident the future is bright for Cranberry King, regardless of Tuesday's result.
"He'll be a lot better horse next prep," he said.
"He's still very immature and baby like. He'll get to 1400, a mile. Everyone that's ridden him has said he'll be a dead set 1400 metre miler in time. That's good when they've got that little bit of early zip as well."
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