Gosford trainer Angela Davies heads to Port Macquarie on Friday with two good chances, including the promising four-year-old Through The Cracks who resumes after a frustrating start to his racing career last year.
Davies will saddle up two-year-old filly Salina Dreaming, who looks one of the leading contenders in Friday's opening race, the 2YO Hcp (1000m).
Dual acceptor Through The Cracks will run in either the Benchmark 66 Hcp (1200m) or the Class 2-Heat Of The Rising Star (1200m).
The trainer's other acceptor, Maui Princess, drew the outside gate in the Class 3 and will be saved for a race at Armidale on Sunday.
"I'm not sure which race Through The Cracks will run in on Friday," said Davies.
"I haven't had a close look at the form in both races, but Kris Lees has a couple resuming in the Class 2 who both have winning form.
"At this stage, it's more likely Through The Cracks will run in the Benchmark 66."
Through The Cracks, a four-year-old son of Wanted, lines up for just his fourth start on Friday after two short preparations in 2018 which yielded two wins.
The gelding won at his second race at Taree on June 8 last year, easily winning a C, G & E Maiden (1255m) on a heavy 10 surface.
Davies then had to spell Through The Cracks, who returned in December to win first-up in a Class 2 Hcp (1200m) at Scone. Unfortunately, it was straight off to the spelling paddock again after that impressive win.
"He's a sound horse, but hasn't had the best constitution and if there's a cold or virus going around he always seems to pick it up," said Davies.
"He returned in December for a super win at Scone but then picked up a virus which really knocked him around so we had to send him to the paddock.
"It'd be nice to finally get a few more runs out of him this time. He's a nice horse who should get stronger with a few more preps under his belt and he should eventually run a strong 1400m.
"I'm very pleased with how he's going. I'm not sure he can win first-up but I do think he should be very competitive in whichever race he runs in on Friday."
Through The Cracks has had one barrier trial as he gears up for Friday's return, working home from well back in the field to finish third to easy winner Valeria over 800m at Gosford on March 26.
Davies was delighted with the debut performance of two-year-old filly Salina Dreaming at Muswellbrook last month and expects the filly to race well again on Friday, provided that tough run hasn't taken too much out of her.
The Dream Ahead filly showed good pace to lead the field in the $30,000 Starmaker 2YO Hcp (1000m) on a heavy 8 at Muswellbrook on March 24, until she was collared late by Longbottom and Brazen Gem.
The Brett Cavanough-trained Longbottom and the Bjorn Baker-trained Brazen Gem have both headed north to line up in a $75,000 2YO Fillies Hcp in Brisbane on Saturday.
"Salina Dreaming did have a hard run on the heavy track at Muswellbrook and it took her a while to get over it," said Davies. "She's a very quick filly who should race well again, especially if she strikes firmer ground. And we'll be looking to take a sit with her this time in Friday's race."
Leading Newcastle trainer Kris Lees and Scone-based Brett Cavanough both look likely to play a big hand at Friday's eight-race meeting.
Lees's leading hopes include Mr Piquet in the Maiden Hcp (1500m), Dundee Lee and Wisama who resume in the Class 2 Hcp (1200m), Continuation in the Class 1 Hcp (1500m) and the former Group Three-placed filly Chilli Cha Cha in the Open Hcp (1500m).
Cavanough's runners include Reward The Chaser in the Benchmark 66 Hcp (1200m), Rosaria Caterina in the Class 2 (1200m), Mick The Hat in the Class 3 Hcp (1000m) and Cosmic Engine in the Open Hcp (1500m).