Luke Price has warned punters not to disregard local gelding Cuban Royale in The Gong.
It might be a relatively recent addition to the calendar, but The Gong is a race close to the hearts of local horsemen Robert and Luke Price.
On Saturday, the father and son team saddle up Cuban Royale and while the gelding comes into the race as one of the outsiders, Luke Price is bullish he will perform much better than his $61 quote suggests.
"It was our career highlight so far with Count De Rupee winning two years back," Luke Price said.
"It was a bit different then, Count De Rupee was favourite and expected to win it.
"I went into the race extremely confident, but I'm going into this race pretty confident the horse is going to run well with no pressure on him.
"They were betting 100-1 early days and I've had something on him at the 100s. It's the best 100-1 shot I'll produce for a while."
Cuban Royale has always been a handy campaigner for the stable, but it was 12 months ago that he seriously blossomed, winning three of his four starts between November and January, highlighted by the Listed Carrington Stakes (1400m).
The $1 million The Gong (1600m) has been on his radar from the start of his current preparation, which has included a second to subsequent Epsom Handicap winner Rediener in the Bill Ritchie Quality (1400m).
"He's been set for the race all the way through, and we were looking like we were well and truly on track with his second in the Bill Ritchie," Price said.
"Then just circumstances - bad luck, bad barriers, the way tracks have raced - I honestly thought he could win the other day at Hawkesbury (in the Ladies Day Cup) until the rain hit halfway through the day and spoiled his party.
"I know the horse is going really well and I think he'll be in the race up to his ears."
Cuban Royale will carry the hopes of the locals as the only Kembla Grange-trained runner in Saturday's feature.
He has drawn barrier 13, the same gate Count De Rupee won from, and like his former stablemate, he will be partnered by Brock Ryan.
The Prices' will also be represented at the meeting by Victory Lane and All Machiavellian in the Midway Handicap (1400m), and Rebel Dean in the Elite Sand & Soil Handicap (1000m) and Luke Price can make cases for them all.
"We've got four good chances on a day we want to showcase," he said.