Kiwi trainer Roger James may elect to start He's Remarkable in the A$2 million Doncaster even against his better judgment.
The exciting stallion has been a huge drifter in the market for Sydney's glamour mile because of a shocking last-start performance and his dislike of wet tracks.
The weather has been dreadful in Sydney this week, with the Warwick Farm meeting called off yesterday and Randwick expected to be rated a Heavy (10) for Saturday's meeting.
That is less than ideal for He's Remarkable, who races best on good ground, and failed dramatically in last season's Telecom Derby on a heavy track.
"He has been placed in the 2000 Guineas on heavy but really it is not his thing," James told the Herald.
"So the weather has been a disaster for him and I will wait until as late a possible to decide if he starts, with a small chance the weather will improve on Friday and Saturday."
He's Remarkable got as short as $8 in some markets for the Doncaster after winning fresh-up at Newcastle last month but has since drifted back out to $21 and will start longer on the tote.
But James says there are two very good reasons a Doncaster start is still plausible.
"His work this week has been the best he has ever worked in Australia," he enthuses.
"And weather aside everything else has panned out beautifully for him.
"We wanted to get him into the race with this weight, at his third start back and have him peaking and that has all come to fruition.
"But clearly I'd be a lot happier if the track was going to be firm."
The very wet weather in Sydney has played havoc with the markets for the Doncaster, with punters rallying to back the roughies with wet weather form.
James is willing to dismiss He's Remarkable's last-start failure as a combination of unsuitable weight-for-age conditions, the stallion pulling too hard and no luck in the running.
He will have a new rider on Saturday, with Christian Reith taking over from a suspended Corey Brown.
Reith feels He's Remarkable is a live hope in the event, after partnering him in trackwork yesterday. .
"He worked by himself and was very sharp, very bright and very happy," Reith said.
"He felt super and is very well in himself. Whatever he does on Saturday is probably going to be his best so he should be right in it."
He believes the pressure of a Doncaster will suit He's Remarkable, who will carry 52.5kg and jump from barrier five.
"With no weight on his back, if he can utilise the sharp sprint that he has I reckon he'll definitely be hitting the line very hard."
But while little has gone right for He's Remarkable in the past week, stablemate Full Of Spirit has emerged as the biggest danger to Streama in the A$550,000 AJC Oaks on Saturday.
Full Of Spirit won her Australian debut in style at Randwick last Saturday, convincing her owners to pay the A$15,000 late entry fee into the Oaks.
That now looks a masterstroke, with only seven rivals and James McDonald to do the riding.
"The track is a question mark for her, too, but I think on breeding she is a decent chance to handle it," said James.
"The way she won last week she deserves her shot at the race and while Streama will be hard to beat there doesn't appear to be a great deal of depth in the race."
Streama has opened as short as $1.50 in Australia but Full Of Spirit is clear second pick at $4.60.
She isn't the only chance for a New Zealand victory in the Oaks though, with third favourite, Thy, owned by Waikato Stud boss Garry Chittick.
The lightly-raced filly has won only once, but hit the line strongly for fourth behind Mosheen and Streama last start and has the top Victorian combination of trainer Peter Moody and jockey Luke Nolen on her side.
After being as long as $71 in the markets a month ago she has now emerged as a genuine threat in the race, into $8 third favouritism.
- Additional reporting, AAPBy Michael Guerin Email Michael