Jockey Steven Parnham believes he has top claims to win the Group 2 Lee Steere Stakes (1400m) for the second time in four years after Bustler came up with a perfect draw.
Bustler is certain to gain an economical run from barrier three in the Lee Steere Stakes, as opposed to the Eurythmic Stakes (1400m) when he started wide in gate 10.
Bustler ran the race out strongly to finish seventh behind Karli's Karma, beaten 2.7 lengths, but Steven Parnham said going back from an awkward draw didn't aid his cause.
"I was really happy with his effort, but he didn't have a great run," Parnham said on Tabradio.
"He drew a bit awkward and we lost cover rounding the first corner.
"I had to sit him back and look after him from that point and wait for them to flush out in front of him.
"The most important part is he finished off well and I thought he came through the line as well as you could hope for.
"He's drawn to get a nice run behind the speed and I'm looking forward going to the races with him tomorrow (Saturday).
"He should get a nice economical run as opposed to his last start and should be in striking distance to give the race a good shake.
"I think he's going to run a really good race."
Parnham won the 2021 Lee Steere Stakes on Kay Cee, the gun mare trained by his father, Neville.
Bustler has trimmed to $6.50 after he opened at $8 earlier this week.
The Playing God gelding sits behind last Saturday's outstanding Asian Beau Stakes champion Marocchino ($4.20).
While Parnham's confidence levels grew after Bustler's improved draw, it contrasted sharply to Zipaway in the Listed Fairetha Stakes (1400m).
An impressive winner in two runs back this preparation, Zipaway, will have to negotiate a path to victory from barrier 12, the second widest gate.
"It's a little bit of a blow to draw the gate that he has," Parnham said.
"He's a horse that has improved with each race start he has.
"He's bouncing out of his skin and is going to run a really good race; it just depends on the run that we get.
"Some of the main dangers have drawn better and will be a little bit in front of me.
"If we can be not far from them when it counts he'll definitely be running home strongly.
"He's a horse on the way up."
Zipaway has eased from $5 to $7 with Tab touch and is half a point clear of stablemate Investment Strategy ($6.50).