Brent Mangos has had a successful week without even jumping in the sulky but he hopes to put the icing on that cake at Alexandra Park tonight.
Mangos was one of the busier New Zealand trainers at the three days of yearling sales this week securing at least a dozen lots including a $150,000 colt out of the former top filly Cheer The Lady.
"It has been a very solid week for us and we were really happy with what we got," says Mangos.
"We did the same last year and so far the now two-year-olds we got out of those sales are showing ability."
Two of those - Culpeka and Jack Mac - take on older horses in race four tonight, with Mangos saying the former can win on debut as he has plenty of x-factor.
"They are only starting against the older horses because it is 1700m and won't hurt them as they get ready for some of the good races coming up for their own age group."
But while rolling out the juveniles is always an exciting time for any trainer, it is Maxim who Mangos is looking forward to the most tonight.
The former Victoria Derby winner for Barry Purdon is now with Mangos so he can do much of his training in the pool.
His two starts since a three-year injury enforced layoff have seen a brave Alex Park second and then a huge win at Whanganui, not a place you expect to see a horse of his calibre.
"I took him there because after three years off he needs the racing and it was better than going to the trials," says Mangos.
"And it really helped. It has brought him on fitness wise and while his legs are still a bit day to day, I think he can win this week."
Maxim is a genuinely good horse and while 30m handicaps are never easy to overcome in pacing races at Alexandra Park, most of his dangers are likely to settle back in the field with him, which could be a huge help.
On sheer class alone he is the horse to beat.
Mangos was impressed with Vampiro's maiden success last start and suggests he can win race nine while Roi Des Gitans is rated an each way chance in the weakish fifth leg of the Pick6.
"And I am on King Of The Roses in the trot [race seven] and he is a good little horse who tries very hard so he has to be a show," says the trainer/driver.
That trot features open classers Prime Power, who looks close to a win, and Foray, who should be greatly improved by his last-start resumption.
The richest race tonight is the $30,000 Sires' Stakes Graduette where Gotta Go Dali Queen is good enough to overcome her second line draw as she looks an Oaks class filly.
Lazarus remains the favourite for tomorrow night's A$750,000 Miracle Mile in Menangle on a night where New Zealand provides the favourite in five group one races.
Gotta Go Dali Queen (
): Good filly who can overcome second line draw.
Go again: Vampiro (R9, No.4): They put the money on last start and he won like a horse who can repeat.
This time: C K Spur (R5, No.5): Has more ability than form suggests and hard to catch.