DUBBO trainer Stephen Edwards believes Criminal Mind will appreciate the drop back in class when it lines up in the Classic Glamour Benchmark 60 Handicap (1305m) on his home track on Thursday.
Edwards had the four-year-old set for a 1300m event at Orange last Friday but with the Dubbo race being slightly weaker and on his home track, Edwards elected to save the gelding for an extra week.
Criminal Mind is coming off a last start seventh in open company behind Chiasma in the Cotton Cup (1600m) at Warren and the trainer believes the drop in class and distance will suit his horse.
"I was really happy with what he did at Warren because he probably didn't quite see out the mile," Edwards said. "He had won at Wellington well before that so I think coming back to 1300m and in an easier class will be right up his alley.
"He's a consistent horse. I've had him for 11 starts and he's won three races and been placed a few other times so he pretty much pays for himself.
"At the moment my other horse Camphorwood is in the spelling paddock so Criminal Mind is the only one I have in work."
Thursday's meeting is a rare one for Dubbo, which has traditionally raced on Mondays in recent times.
Edwards said the lure of being able to compete on his home track was also part of the reason behind his decision to wait with Criminal Mind.
"He had drawn well on Friday but I'm a builder and so by racing at home I didn't have to give up a day of work and travel down there to take on those Sydney horses that come up to places like Orange and Bathurst meetings," he said.
"Here he's able to race at home, on a track he's familiar with and likes. Now I just hope he has to draw well again."
Eight races are scheduled for Thursday's meeting, with the feature being the Henderson's Menswear Open Handicap (1100m) which attracted nine original nominations.
The club has kept nominations open until 11am this morning, when weights for the meeting will be released.
Final fields will be declared tomorrow.