Two men who have trained just three Alexandra Park winners between them could dominate the fillies Group 1 tonight, but one has a lot more firepower to call on.
Bob Butt has never trained an Alexandra Park winner yet has favourite Cover Girl in the $95,000 Classic, the filly showing enormous ability in her debut.
She has the ace tonight and Butt, who doesn't train a big team and has one drive, intends to use the draw.
"I think she would be good in front so we will try and use it," he said.
"She was good last week and has improved with that so I think she has a real chance but it is hard to line up the form."
Hayden Cullen has trained three more Alexandra Park winners than Butt — under vastly different circumstances.
He took over the most powerful stable in the country on New Year's Day and from a handful of starters has already trained a Northern Oaks winner and has A Bettor You and True Fantasy in the juvenile filly feature.
They don't have great draws but they have something any other stable would love — champion trainers Mark Purdon and Natalie Rasmussen helping out as stablehands this week.
Although the couple is officially on a sabbatical from full-time training, they agreed to help out with Cullen's team more around the bigger carnivals and Purdon will drive them after he and Rasmussen were available for trackwork duties at Pukekohe on Wednesday morning.
That can only aid the chances of Cullen's pair but Purdon says there is little between then, leaning slightly toward A Bettor You.
"They are both very nice fillies but so is Bob's horse and it is a good field," says Purdon.
"We have tricky draws but I'd think they would need to roll forward at some stage."
The race contains depth for a juvenile filly contest and much will depend on who leads early and whether that driver chooses to hand up, with the Barry Purdon/Scott Phelan stable having three fillies good enough to win as well.
While those early tactics will be crucial for the juvenile fillies, pressure will be the key determinant in the three other Group races, especially the Taylor Mile and Anzac Cup.
Copy That has been heavily backed to win the Taylor Mile, and if he is able to cross to the lead from barrier five he should win, especially as he looked back to his best at the workouts last weekend.
But if even one of those drawn inside him wants to maintain that advantage and Auckland Cup winner Amazing Dream applies more pressure at the bell, it becomes a far less comfortable watch for favourite punters.
The pressure in the Anzac Cup will almost certainly come in the form of Sundees Son launching into likely leader Majestic Man over the last lap and over 2200m you would back Sundees Son to outstay his old rival, especially as Majestic Man hasn't trialled since returning from Sydney last month.
But if they go too hard, Bolt For Brilliance, at his best, loves following a hot speed and could be the swooper along with Temporale, although Oscar Bonavena looks likely to get the early trail and shortest trip home.
Still, Sundees Son is the one to beat.
The pressure may be of a different type in the $62,500 Sire' Stakes Trot in which Mexicana looks the early leader but favourite Five Wise Men probably can't afford to sit back and give the filly an easy time in front.
That is likely to see him move mid-race and if he handles his Alexandra Park debut faultlessly he should win. There are question marks over the form or fitness of some other rivals so Mexicana looks the toughest for Five Wise Men to beat while Son Of Patrick and the luckless Leaf Stride are others who could win.
Punting at the park
Best bet: Louie The Punter (R9, No4): Finds himself in the right race after being caught late last time out. Strong workout when launched at Pukekohe last week and if he can lead looks hard to catch.
The anchor: Sundees Son (R6, No5): In one of the best trot races of the season but should be fitter for two Addington outings and the horse who beat him last start isn't here.
Each way: Mexicana (R4, No4): Looked very forward at the workouts last weekend and has the gate speed to lead. May find Five Wise Men too tough but she is best placed to exploit any chinks in his armour.