Kiss me goodnight, Sergeant Major?

Heathcote trainer Shane Drummond is ultimately eyeing a second ‘major’ with Drill Sergeant in the Group 1 Association Cup (720m).


But last year's G1 Sale Cup winner won't be the only runner 'barking the instructions' for him.

Drummond also has Misty Black engaged in NSW's blue riband staying series, which commences with three heats at Wentworth Park on Saturday night.

Drill Sergeant (Box 6) lines up in Heat 2 (Race 3, 7.05pm) and Misty Black (Box 2) in Heat 1 (Race 2, 6.46pm).

Misty Black (seven wins from 47 starts) is $10 on Sportsbet in her heat and $51 on the 'All In' market.

Drill Sergeant (13 from 46) is $4 in his heat and on the equal fourth line of nominal betting with fellow Victorian Aston Costello at $9 – behind NSW star Palawa King and Qld sensation Valpolicella who are both at $3.

Meanwhile, Victorian counterpart Zulu Blast is $6.

"I don't think box six will worry him as there's not too much early pace."

Drummond reckons both his charges represent good value in the $75,000 to-the-winner series. But he says, "Misty Black is stronger than Drill Sergeant".

"It ($51 'All In' for Misty Black) is madness," Drummond exclaimed.

And you can't dispute his logic as Misty Black finished a close third behind Palawa King and Drill Sergeant in February's G1 Fanta Bale Stayers.

Zulu Blast was fourth in that event and he's $2 favourite in the Association Cup heat Misty Black will contest. Palawa King is $1.70F in Heat 3 (Race 4, 7.28pm).

"She'll just chase her pants off… She'll start coming at the 600-metre mark," Drummond added.

"The inside will suit her because if she misses it, she won't be caught wide.

"But I haven't been able to get the runs into her. She's had niggling injuries and lost a bit of fitness but if she makes it into the final, she'll be better off for the run."

Drill Sergeant – seven wins and five seconds from his past 13 starts – was also runner-up to Valpolicella in this year's G1 Gold Cup at Albion Park.

He'll meet his conqueror again, who is $1.85F to claim their Association Cup heat.

"Everything has gone to plan," Drummond advised. "We dropped him back in distance for a little while, but he's still putting the times on the board.

"I don't think box six will worry him as there's not too much early pace. So, if he doesn't get knocked coming out of the boxes, he should lead.

"And he won't crash to the rail, he'll run straight and try to get across at the first corner. He's got some common sense."