Don't be put off by Walkinshaw's terrible standing start record in the $25,000 Country Cups Final at Cambridge today. Because if the best version of the smart four-year-old turns up he can overcome his 20m handicap, even on a track where chasing can be hard work.
The field brings together mainly the journeymen of the country pacing circuit, whereas Walkinshaw and Bettor Spirits are genuine Alexandra Park horses who have raced in the big time.
Walkinshaw finished third to Lazarus and Chase The Dream in last season's Northern Derby but has failed to reach those heights this campaign. "He has had some up and down runs but the grade he is racing in can be very, very tough especially at the carnivals,"says trainer-driver Tony Herlihy.
Which is one reason Walkinshaw has had five standing start races without a placing.
Two of his most recent stands have been behind superstars in Vincent and Heaven Rocks at Alexandra Park, while another of his standing start failures was in the Sales Series Pace at Kaikoura.
The last was in the Hawera Cup last start where he clearly didn't handle the softer track so his poor stand statistics may not be relevant and with the front line for today's 2700m stand not overly imposing he looks the one to beat.
"You always need luck in this sort of race at Cambridge but he is well and he can definitely win," said Herlihy.
Bettor Spirits has similar career highlights to Walkinshaw but his manners early and luck from the 30m backmark could decide his chances.
Victory with either Eldolar or Imajollywally in the Final could cap a huge season for trainer Arna Donnelly, who has been in career-best form.
With a stable lacking any high-priced stars Donnelly has won a personal best 24 races this season, taking her past the 100 career training wins and she sits an impressive 14th on the national trainers premiership.
One of the highlights of today's twilight meeting will be another northern two-year-old trot, races which have been better supported early this season than in the past.
If Paramount King trots all the way he should win race one as he uses the race as his final trial before heading south to take on baby trotters who have been racing in far bigger fields.
"Our horse may not have the experience some of the southerners have but we think he is pretty good," said trainer John Dickie, one of the best in the business with young trotters.