Trainer Patrick Campbell runs a small operation in Hastings but that doesn't mean he doesn't recognise big acts when they roll into town.

"Well, it's a small field and, obviously, the hot [pick] is Te Akau Shark," says Campbell before his horse, Scandalo, lines up in the feature 1300m open handicap $20,000 Russell Roads City of Hastings Cup at 3.12pm today.

"Whether he's good enough to beat Te Akau Shark, I don't know," he says of the three-year-old Rip Van Winkle gelding, under the tutelage of Cambridge trainers Stephen Autridge and Jamie Richards, who is a New Zealand Derby hopeful and will be under Australian jockey Katelyn Mollyon.

"She's right in the frame of the top lady riders in Australia," says Campbell of the 23-year-old Victorian jockey, who is the partner of Kiwi rider James McDonald.

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Mollyon, who has won the group one William Reid Stakes (1200m) on Silent Sedition, will also ride Fashionably, Trendsetting and Wide Awake here. She is the grand-daughter of multiple Caulfield Cup-winning jockey Mick Mallyon.

Campbell is happy with his five-year-old Shocking gelding, Scandalo (Australia), who jockey Darryl Bradley will start from the No 6 barrier.

"He's coming off a bit of solid form so I expect him to race well but whether he's good enough top beat those two, again I don't know."

The Nigel Auret-trained Petite En Jeu, he reckons, also will be the hardest to beat in what appears to be a modest field of four after Autridge/Richards withdrew Savabeel mare Grazia.

Campbell's other entry, Lady Guinness (apprentice Holly Andrew), is in the 1600m, rating 75 Kahungunu Kapa at 3.57pm.

The four-year-old Falkirk mare receives a similar endorsement from him to Scandalo.

He expects the Autridge/Richards' trained Wide Awake, and Murray Baker and Andrew Forsman's Princess Sapphire (apprentice Hairi Marzuki) to give Lady Guinness a good workout.