Majestic Man is the one-horse Kiwi assault on the Inter Dominions in New South Wales but at least he has the king of the series to help him out.
The North Otago trotter is the only New Zealand-trained horse in the series which begins at Menangle on Saturday night, with no Kiwi representatives in the pacing division, although Southland pacer Robyn's Playboy joined the local stable of KerryAnn Morris last week.
The Inters return after a year off because of Covid restrictions in NSW and with New Zealand's two premier clubs having pulled out of the rotation and our team down to one this year, it would be easy to question our interest in the series.
That is partly because of Covid travel restrictions, particularly returning home, the fact the finals are worth only A$500,000 (pacing) and A$150,000 for the trotters under an agreement forged four years ago. And this series also sees horses travel to Bathurst and Newcastle for rounds of heats, which has not been popular with some trainers.
Also, while the best New Zealand trotters would dominate their Australian rivals, the reality is none of our pacers would be rated superior to series favourite King Of Swing and with the late summer and autumn providing many opportunities, the Inters series doesn't have the same lure this year.
That hasn't stopped Oamaru trainer Phil Williamson sending Majestic Man to New South Wales for the first of three rounds of heats on Saturday, leading into the December 11 final.
"He is now getting any younger and he loves the Australian racing so we are happy to go," says Williamson.
"He is owned by a big syndicate and if they win they won't care about the money, they will have an Inter Dominion champion."
Because Williamson can't get a guaranteed return from Australia, ex-pat horseman Anthony Butt, who has won four Inter Dominions, will be Majestic Man's caretaker trainer and driver.
He says the old horse is ready to show the vast discrepancy between the New Zealand elite and a moderate Australian crop. "The trotters back home [in New Zealand] are awesome so he will really notice the difference in class over here," says Butt.
"He loves the style of racing with his gate speed and has settled in well.
"We have a good barrier [two] on Saturday night and there is no secret to my tactics, he will be leading," adds Butt.
While Majestic Mac can win the trotting series, former Auckland pacer King Of Swing should dominate the pacing series, with his driver Luke McCarthy having by far the biggest hand in that division and he could even clean sweep Saturday's three pacing heats.