Astute Albury trainer Ron Stubbs says he will happily accept barrier two with the highly-fancied Tap N Run for Saturday's $150,000 SDRA Country Championships Qualifier (1400m).
Tap N Run opened an $8 chance with TAB on Thursday for the feature race at Wagga and immediately shortened to $7 within minutes.
After finishing last campaign with an eye-catching fourth in Highway grade, Tap N Run stormed home for a first-up third at Canberra before winning the preview over 1400m at Albury on February 3.
Tap N Run may well start from the inside barrier on Saturday with the Mitch Beer-trained Hardware Lane, a doubtful runner, coming up with gate one.
Stubbs hopes jockey Jack Martin can give Tap N Run the run of the race from there.
"Pre the draw, I thought if we got four, five six, we'd be happy but I guess you never knock back two," Stubbs said.
"We're quick out of the boxes so really he should be able to get in the perfect position and ride for luck from there.
"I'd rather be there than scouting wide looking to get in and being stuck three or four deep."
Stubbs could not be happier with four-year-old heading into the qualifier.
MORE SPORT NEWS
"Very much so. Everything's gone to plan so the job's done now, we've just got to wait and see," he said.
Stubbs, over two stints, has achieved an enormous amount in his training career but the Country Championships is one race that continues to elude him.
"It hasn't been a good race for us," Stubbs explained.
"Yousay Bolt, she was pre-post favourite a couple of years ago but she developed a quarter crack and we had to scratch her, and then we had a horse called Squidensquizz and he did a tendon in the lead up."
Yousay Bolt ran 11th in last year's SDRA qualifier, beaten three lengths, while Stubbs also had Lost Command run sixth in the 2019 edtion behind Bennelong Dancer.
He would love nothing more than to qualify Tap N Run for the $500,000 final.
"You approach Saturday's race just as being able to run first or second. The experience of getting into the final and competing in that would be a totally new experience," he said.
"It's a fantastic race. Each year I look at the local fields and am disappointed, you think we should be stronger but then you go to final and we're very competitive."
Our journalists work hard to provide local, up-to-date news to the community. This is how you can continue to access our trusted content:
Sign up for our newsletter to stay up to date.