An inside barrier should prove a vital advantage to the Jim Jarvis-trained Plateau Gold at Murwillumbah in north-eastern New South Wales today.
The 3-year-old lines up in the Melbourne Cup Marquees Handicap over 1000m.
"There will be plenty of speed in the race and with a bit of a cart up in a slightly easier race from the inside barrier, it should give Plateau Gold his chance," Coffs Harbour-based Jarvis said.
Plateau Gold, raced by a syndicate from Dorrigo headed by Gary Penfold who bred the son of Za-Im out of Glow Of Light, is third-up today after two solid performances at Ballina and Coffs Harbour.
"He was taken on for the lead in both races by Bundy Special who he meets again," Jarvis said.
"First-up he battled on well for fourth then it was a similar performance at Coffs. He hung on and wasn't disgraced."
Plateau Gold was beaten three lengths fourth over 1000m at Ballina on July 20 then 1.7 lengths fourth behind Padre Pio over the same trip at Coffs Harbour on August 1.
The gelding won two races as a 2-year-old but Jarvis said under the benchmark handicapping system he is forced to take on older, better performed horses while just turning three. "It's a big ask," Jarvis said. "My horse doesn't get much weight relief. It's not an easy task.
"In saying that, I'm happy with my horse.
"Wet or dry, he handles all types of surfaces. He does his best."
Jarvis will also saddle up Monsieur Noverre in race six. He rates the 5-year-old gelding, a Marlon Dolendo mount, a strong chance first-up.
* In other NSW news, the 3-year-old trainer Peter Snowden rates as potentially the next banner horse for Darley will be among several high-profile spring candidates to contest Sydney barrier trials today.
Snowden has anointed Epaulette as the horse most likely to deliver in 2012-2013 for the global racing and breeding empire for which he trains.
Epaulette hasn't been in public since the Golden Slipper, but he will take his most important step so far towards the spring when he contests a 900m heat against his own kind at Rosehill.
The overseas departures and subsequent retirements of Sepoy and Epaulette's half-brother Helmet have left a void in Darley's racing team.
Epaulette came closest to beating the triple crown colt Pierro when he ran the Golden Slipper winner to a short half-head in the Todman Stakes.
And while there was almost six lengths between them at their next start in the Golden Slipper, Snowden said the result was not a true indication of his colt's class.
"I feel he has got a lot more to offer. He's a lightly-raced horse and he'll probably be my headline horse going into the spring."
"He'll trial at Rosehill and then run in the Run To The Rose and the Golden Rose after that.
Group one winners Streama, Rangirangdoo and Shoot Out are due to be seen in public for the first time since the autumn when they clash in a Rosehill heat, while Stradbroke winner Sincero will step out for the second time since the Doncaster Mile when he competes in a separate trial.