Trainer Steve Englebrecht has analysed Malavio's last-start defeat and expects the talented gelding to bounce back in a big way in the Hawkesbury Gold Cup today.
Four-year-old Malavio was beaten more than five lengths over 1400m at Rosehill last start.
However, Englebrecht maintains the stakeswinner can follow his former stable star Referral by winning the Hawkesbury feature on his way to the group two Villiers Stakes next month.
Referral won the Hawkesbury Cup (1600m) in 1998 before going on to win the Villiers (1600m).
The Warwick Farm trainer believes four factors contributed to Malavio's 10th placing last start, which came after a second-up win two weeks earlier.
"He had a sharp rise in weight [to 59kg], the pace of the race was against him, the way the track was playing didn't seem to suit him and I think jockey Nathan Berry was a bit too negative on him," he said yesterday.
Englebrecht believes the gelding can return to top form with the drop to 55kg, one kilo above the minimum.
"He has worked really well this week, he looks a million dollars and I think he'll be pretty close to his peak for Thursday," he said.
"It's not going to be a walk in the park but it does look a winnable race for him."
Malavio won his only other start at Hawkesbury when he was making his first appearance for Englebrecht in May.
The trainer has always felt the son of Snitzel, who is untested beyond 1400m, would relish getting to 1600m.
"He looks like a dead-set miler in his work and his racing style," he said.
"He just gives all the indications it will be right up his alley."
The group three Hawkesbury Gold Cup is one of two stakes races on the programme at the NSW provincial track along with the listed Ladies Day Cup (1300m).
Trainer Peter Snowden has Quidnunc and Forfeiture in the Ladies Day Cup and will be chasing his fourth straight win in the race.