Trainer Pat Farrell hopes he has found the right race for Bottled Up to record an elusive win at Cessnock today.
The 5-year-old gelding tackles the Radford Shopfitters Benchmark 65 Hcp (1350m).
Bottled Up, bought as a weanling by Farrell who retained a share, has won only three from 31 starts but recorded 14 placings, earning just over A$72,000.
"He probably should have won more races. It's been a bit disappointing in that respect but, hopefully, we've found the right race for him at Cessnock," the Muswellbrook-based Farrell said yesterday.
"He's a real trier, keeps putting in every time he races."
Bottled Up has been racing since May but continues to thrive, Farrell said. "He's been very consistent, probably just short of being a handy horse," he said.
"He's only a lightly framed horse and doesn't take a lot of hard racing but he's continued to do well in the stable.
"We just wish he could have won a few more races."
Bottled Up will carry 58.5kg with journeyman Grant Buckley in the saddle. Farrell was somewhat peeved at the weight situation.
"He's only a Class Three horse, in these type of Benchmark races he's up in the weights and pays for consistency," he said.
Bottled Up's last-start effort, when a close third to Sugera and Umalass over 1320m at Dubbo on July 11, was a good pointer to his chances today. The Magic Albert gelding has a penchant for rain-affected surfaces, particularly heavy ground.
Farrell reasoned the conditions, with the sting certain to be out of the track today, were favourable.
"He certainly handles it wet but if the track continues to improve to around dead that won't worry him," he said.