The annual Repco Mascot Dash at the Wanganui Jockey Club's Christmas at the Races cup day meeting is shaping up as a real grudge match between two former winners.
The final field has yet to be confirmed, but two definite starters with form are the likely pre-post favourites.
Last year's race was not run when the race meeting was abandoned after the first horse race because of track safety concerns, but The Beer Baron (aka Jordan Baldwin) had been a clear cut winner of the two previous events.
Deservedly he had bragging rights which he has taken to the next level much to the chagrin of inaugural winner Matt Field who raced as Turbo Man.
Field, however, subsequently underwent transplant surgery after his sister Ruth donated a kidney.
After recovering Field has won a total of 9 gold, 3 silvers and 2 bronze on the athletics track at the Australian, British and World Transplant Games over the last year. His personal best of 11.27 seconds in the 100m at the World Games in Spain in August should be enough to put the frightners on The Beer Baron come raceday on December 2.
Jockey club operations manager Bret Field is leaning more toward his nephew Matt, but does have a foot in both camps. For much of his younger years Baldwin grew up as Bret Field's stepson.
"The inaugural mascot race was won by my nephew Matt Field who raced as Turbo Man, mascot of the Manawatu rugby team," Field said.
"He lives in Palmerston North and works for trainer Kevin Gray.
"He has since had a kidney transplant and has won a heap of medals at international level.
He was also named an ambassador for the World Transplant Games in Spain earlier this year.
"I invited him back to race last year before the meeting was abandoned hoping he could take the winner of the last two down a peg or two," Field joked.
In some quarters Baldwin has lightheartedly been accused of taking the bragging rights a step too far and needed to be put back in his place.
"That's why I've invited Matt back again and Jordan is not so confident now," Field said.
The chances, however, do not necessarily end with the two pre-post favourites with several new contenders likely confirm in the coming days.
Season past also rans, Wanganui Rugby mascot Barrie the Butcher, Santa and Jock Strapper are likely to line up against interestingly named rivals Tinkerbelly, Front End Loader, Harold the Giraffe, Grim Reaper and Aramoho Health entrant Chlamydia Burn.
There is also a suggestion a runner with US presidential ties may also take his place.