Race fitness is the only thing against Exaggerate delivering a first-up victory at Leeton on Monday.
Exaggerate has won eight races and six of those have been for his Canberra trainer Doug Gorrel who belives the gelding is going well enough to deliver at least a top-three finish.
“I would have preferred the race to be 1000 metres, so 1150 metres is a bit further and the last bit could test him because he hasn’t started for several months,” Gorrel said.
“His trial at Canberra was good behind Redicon and Biscara and he did it under his own steam.
“He can lead, but I think over the little bit further distance he will be best to take a sit and try and finish off over the top of the others.”
Gorrel has trained several gallopers he has acquired from other trainers and has made a winning habit of finding results for their new owners.
Exaggerate is a case in point. The gelding has won six times for Gorrel which is the most of any galloper he has prepared along with Liabilityadjuster.
Premier Sydney trainer John Hawkes prepared Exaggerate first before Matthew Dale took over and won his first two races. Gorrel started training Exaggerate just over two years ago.
In that time, he has won six races including The Thunderbolt at Queanbeyan plus others at Wagga, Canberra, Wellington, Cowra and Moruya.
Money can’t buy the thrills he has provided his owners and Gorrel is hopeful the long trip to Leeton can pay dividends.
“He is in that range where he is hard to place. He is on a tough benchmark in the country and the midweek races he could start in Sydney aren’t easy,” he suggested.
“He has been a really good horse for all of us and still has plenty of racing left in him.”
Exaggerate’s main opposition should come from two horses which have the bonus of race fitness.
Topweight, Molasses, will need to carry 60kg if he is to win his first race this campaign, but is well placed after finishing just behind the placegetters in stronger races.
Real Key hasn’t finished further back than fifth in nine starts this campaign and will have his weight reduced by 3kg after the claim by apprentice jockey Georgina McDonnell.
Molasses, Real Key and Exaggerate have drawn to start from three of the four outside barriers which will make tactics interesting.
Meanwhile, trainer Donna Scott has won several races in recent months including a feature with Lord Von Costa at Flemington, but nothing would give her more pleasure than seeing her daughter Danielle kicking home a winner for the stable.
Danielle has had a handful of rides for her mother and on Monday has a strong winning chance in the opening race with Oamanikka.
The three-year-old ran second on debut when supported at longer odds at Wagga with Danielle in the saddle.
Oamanika has drawn an inside gate for her second start over 1050m which should keep her in contention.
Danielle will also ride Hail The Hero for her mother, while her other strong winning chance is Damselfy’s Kept.