When Racing NSW unveiled its $1.3 million Kosciuszko earlier this month, Mudgee trainer Cameron Crockett said there were a number of horses from his stable capable of racing in the country feature.
Nictock had won multiple times in the city so was an obvious choice while Country Championships runner Ori On Fire also got some attention.
But for the trainer himself, there was another horse which he fancied.
That horse was Sharpe Hussler and on Saturday the talented six-year-old showed why when storming home to take out the 1100m Benchmark 79 sprint at Rosehill.
After a betting plunge which saw Sharpe Hussler firm from $51 to $16, the Crockett-trained gelding dominated the finish when coming from last to overhaul $2.70 favourite Condor Heroes and stretch out to a one-and-a-half lengths win.
"I can't place him in the bush because his benchmark is too high and he gets too much weight," Crockett said post-race.
"We were intending to take him to Grafton earlier this month but he had a setback so we held off.
"This is the right race to show his ability and maybe get into the Kosciuszko.
"With all due respect to the horses in the Highway Handicaps, they are for class one and two horses and imagine what he would do to those.
"It's given people something to think about regarding the Kosciuszko."
The field for the race will be decided by sweepstake with $5 tickets on sale at AHA hotels throughout NSW.
Twelve tickets will be drawn in early September, with the winners to negotiate with connections for a slot in the race.
The race will feature on the undercard for the $13 million Everest on October 13.