Promising four-year-old Camillo can bounce back from his first-up misfortune at Rosehill Gardens last month when he returns to his home track at Grafton on Tuesday. Unbeaten in two previous runs at Grafton last year, Camillo can extend that record when he lines up in the Fight Night At The Track April 14 Class 3 Handicap (1206m).
Trainer David Kelly had Camillo primed for a first-up bid in a TAB Highway (1100m) at Rosehill on February 24, but after sitting second in the run the gelding was galloped on in the straight.
Jockey Corey Brown, fearing something was amiss, didn't test Camillo over the final stages and he finished last of 11 behind Try A Lil Harder.
Camillo has since trialled at Grafton on March 11, finishing second with plenty in reserve behind Hotel Drive.
Kelly has always had a good opinion of Camillo, a son of Shocking who has was impressive in his two Grafton wins last year.
He scored at his third race start on September 14 last year, easily winning a Grafton Maiden (1106m) by more than three lengths then posted a similar margin when he easily accounted for a Class 1 field over 1400m on September 26. Matt Paget, who rode him in those Grafton wins, renews the association on Tuesday and will jump from the inside gate.
Consistent Casino mare Soft Top takes on Camillo on Tuesday and her trainer Ian Savins is banking on a drop back in distance and a 'touch of luck' in the run to put her right in the finish.
Soft Top's recent efforts have all been good, including an eye-catching third to Quick Ketch and Brigadoon Rise in a Class 3-SW over 1200m at Doomben three runs back on January 20. She then produced another strong-finishing effort at Warwick Farm on February 20 when fourth to Star Boy in a TAB Highway over 1200. At her most recent outing, Soft Top stepped up to 1350m when fourth to Suggan Buggan in Class3-SW at Doomben on March 10.
Savins, a Casino real estate agent, trains six horses as a hobby. Two others in his team will also line up at Tuesday's meeting - Rock The House (race one) and Academy Hill (race seven). Academy Hill has been a frustrating galloper for Savins, finishing second on 15 occasions in his 40 starts.
"The horses give me a nice break away from work," said Savins, a real estate agent for the past 35 years. "Soft Top has been racing very well this prep. Her run at Warwick Farm two runs back was very good and that race was probably a particularly strong Highway.
"She found the 1350m at Doomben last time out just a bit too far and she also finished along the inside which wasn't the best part of the track that day. The drop back to the 1200m on Tuesday will certainly suit her - all of her three wins have been at that distance.
"She's going to settle back in the second half of the field but hopefully they are coming from back in the field on Tuesday. With some luck from her alley (barrier 11) she should be getting home hard, but it's certainly an open race with quite a few strong hopes in it."
Gold Coast mare Mystic Moon looms as another serious contender in the race. The Toby Edmonds-trained five-year-old resumed with a second to Malmoosa at Ipswich on February 18. Malmoosa subsequently ran a good race in the NRRA Country Championships Qualifier at Grafton on March 11, finishing fifth to the Matt Dunn-trained Snitz.