Tavi Mac wasn't going to be in the $50,000 Matamata Cup until he left trainer Allan Sharrock with no choice.
The equine sausage dog with the cult status was originally programmed to run a lot closer to home at Hawera, where he would have been carded with a huge weight in the open sprint.
But that all changed last week.
"I was going to put him in the sprint down here with the apprentice allowance," says Taranaki-based Sharrock.
"But he worked so well on Tuesday of last week I changed my mind. He worked brilliantly and I thought he was so well we might as well have a go at the Matamata Cup."
Tavi Mac was a huge second to Avantage in the Foxbridge Plate at Te Rapa before being a close sixth in the Group 1 Tarzino Trophy at Hastings, excellent form for the race.
"I gave him a week off after that to freshen him up, which is why I thought the sprint down here would suit him rather than the 1400m of the Cup.
"But after that workout last week he will handle the 1400m no problems."
Tavi Mac cops 59kg but meets few genuine Group 1 horses and gets the services of champion jockey Opie Bosson, his seventh rider at just start 13.
"A big bonus for him this weekend if he gets a good draw for the first time this campaign so he is going to be really hard to beat."
Sharrock will be staying closer to home for the Hawera meeting where he will also play host to some of New Zealand's leading racing personalities.
"I have three of them staying at home so not only will I have to cook for them and have a full fridge but they will annoy me all night asking questions about all the horse," he smiled.
Two horses he will be tipping to his mates will be Our Hail Mary (race eight) and Sinarahma in the Breeders Stakes.
"I started the week thinking Our Hail Mary was going to be a good thing but then she drew barrier 20," he laments.
"I still think she can win but rather than being a great betting proposition she is now only a good bet."
Sinarahma has been backed in the Breeders Stakes and Sharrock rates her a good mare who could win up to Group 2 level but has total respect for a serious Group 1 mare in Kiwi Ida.
"[Kiwi Ida] has had no luck in better races so she will be hard to beat, but my mare is also pretty good and has just taken time to mature," Sharrock added.