FRANK Hession's two youngsters, Spruce it Up and Imposing Molly, will go head to head in the $10,000 Harness Breeders NSW 3YO Fillies Pace (2130m) at Bathurst on Wednesday night.
Both are prepared by John Lew at Dubbo and while John O'Shea will drive Spruce It Up out of barrier nine, the trainer will be guiding the fortunes of Imposing Molly (11).
Imposing Molly (Life Sign USA x Our Imposing Miss) is the least experienced of the two, having had just four starts for a breakthrough win at Parkes back in February with Kurt Lew as the driver.
She was sent to paddock straight after and resumed with a seventh at Bathurst on November 21 before coming out two weeks later for a last start fourth in a race won by stablemate Spruce It Up (John O'Shea).
Owner and breeder Frank Hession will watch the Bathurst race at the Dubbo race meeting on Boxing Day hoping that Spruce It Up can reproduce her Dubbo form.
The winner of two races from eight starts, the Famous Forever x Missus Spruso filly has done everything right this preparation with successive wins at Parkes first up and at Dubbo.
O'Shea, who has had a lot of success for John Lew and Hession, was the driver on both occasions.
Hession said a skin problem hadn't helped Imposing Molly but he's hopeful her best racing is in front of her.
"She's going really well all things considered," he said.
"The skin problem isn't a major issue but it's certainly not helping her.
"We were also faced with the fact that she would be drawn on the outside of the second row.
"As for Spruce It Up, she goes alright and seems to be getting better and better."
The dams of both fillies have had indifferent racing careers in their own right.
Our Imposing Miss, has only one eye and according to Hession won some good races; while Spruce It Up's mother Missus Spruso has crippled feet and never raced.
Lew put both fillies through their final hit outs in trials at Dubbo on Tuesday night and both came up with the goods.
With John Lew in the driver's seat, Imposing Molly got through her work in a 1720m qualifier beating Fancy That Lombo (Bernie Newell) by five metres, with the well performed Josam Bay (Kurt Lew) a head away third. The mile rate of 2:01.7 was impressive.
John Lew's son Peter drove Spruce It Up in the CO and Better trial over 2120m and did everything asked of her.
At the line she held out Lombo Sky Reveler (Robert Sinderberry) by 1-1/2 metres with the Spiros Calligeros prepared Kholer a head back in third place.
The mile rate was 2:04.3.