A confused Graham Richardson is hoping Paisley Park can overcome having to lump 62kg through the Ellerslie mud on Saturday.
The Matamata trainer is just back from Queensland where he had to watch one of his stable star's Tiptronic suffer atrial fibrillation in the Lord Mayor's Cup at Eagle Farm last Saturday.
"It could hardly have been worse timing but he was right again straight after the race," says Richardson, who trains in partnership with Rogan Norvall.
"So his campaign is over but he can stay over there and spell. I thought to myself when I came back, if I was a horse I'd rather be sunning it over there than coming home."
There was still something for Richardson to be proud of in Queensland as his mare Volpe Veloce fetched A$1.9 million at the broodmare sale in foal to I Am Invincible.
"You love to see those New Zealand race mares like her getting that level of attention and fetching that money in Australia.
"We sold her last year during Covid for A$675,000 and the new owners put her in foal to Vinnie and re-sold her and good on them. We are very proud of what she has achieved."
Back to the realities of winter racing in New Zealand, Richardson and Norvall take three to Ellerslie, including Paisley Park who will carry that topweight in the Cornwall Handicap.
"He is really well but I don't like the fact he has to carry 62kg," says Richardson.
"It confused me a bit because I thought the mandatory topweight had to be 60kg at least and I'd be fine with that but the fact he got 62kg, when he is only a rating 86 horses is tough.
"What makes it worse is he is a tricky horse to ride so I didn't want to put an apprentice on but a few of the others have, so he really is carrying a lot more than his rivals.
"He has won in the heavy before and will go a good race but that is a lot of weight."
In the following race, Richardson has Devotioninmotion (R3, No10) coming back from a spell with one of the more unusual form lines in the country.
The three-year-old filly has won two of her five starts on the actual track but was relegated in the stewards room both times so finds herself still a maiden.
But not just any maiden, she carries a rating of 60 points after getting six points for finishing fifth in the Bonecrusher Stakes for three-year-olds back in December.
"She hasn't had a lot of luck and you don't get many maidens who have won two races.
"She is fresh-up this week and that is a worry on a wet track. We could even scratch her if it gets too heavy but we will see how the next few days unfold.
"She is forward enough to win without being right screwed down obviously."
While the winter tracks are starting to see numbers thin out, Ellerslie have still attracted some decent fields, with a good three-year-old race and a classy open sprint for this time of the year.
There were plenty of swoopers on the unseasonably firmer track at Ellerslie last Saturday so how it plays tomorrow when back to heavy will determine whether barrier draws have much relevance.
Saturday's meeting is the first of two for Queen's Birthday weekend with a huge jumps card headlined by the McGregor Grant Steeplechase on Monday, possibly the last time that historic race is held at Ellerslie.