Things didn't quite go according to plan for Dubbo trainer Clint Lundholm as his Country Championships qualifier Sons Of Bourke ran a disappointing seventh at Bathurst on Sunday.
The run had been flagged as the perfect tune-up for the Haradasun x Belvain gelding ahead of the $500,000 final at Royal Randwick on April 6, with Lundholm saying "if he could run well and run a nice place behind them then you would still go down happy".
But with several starters restless in the lead-up, and a race delay of more than three minutes, Sons Of Bourke ($11) failed to put his best foot forward in the Bathurst Toyota Tulloch Cup Country Class 2 Showcase Plate (1300 metres).
The gelding jumped well from barrier nine and looked handy before settling in fourth behind eventual winner I Am Magnificent (Chad Lever, $4), Revolver (Andrew Bourke, $21), and Butter Toast ($81) out wide.
Andrew Banks was again in the saddle after guiding Sons Of Bourke to second in the Dubbo qualifier, but he wasn't able to get the same performance out of the gelding as the pair dropped off the pace to finish 9.11 lengths back in seventh.
At his home track, the Dean Mirfin-trained I Am Magnificent was dominant, with Cameron Crockett's Caprera (Mathew Cahil, $2.30 favourite) the only challenger 0.53 lengths behind in second.
The next closest was Gayna Williams' Kookabaa (Ashley Morgan, $3.30), four lengths back in third.
Sydney trainers dominated the salutations on a rain-affected afternoon at Bathurst, with Williams (Mudgee) and Mirfin (Bathurst) the region's only winners.
The heavens didn't open in earnest until the penultimate race - the feature Bathurst Cup - with the rain falling so heavily that speculation abounded as to whether the racing would continue.
But continue it did with the track still rated a good 4 for the final race of the day, the Edney Ryan's "The Barb" Cup Benchmark 58 Showcase Handicap (1400m).
The aptly named Super Cyclone (Koby Jennings, $2.1) proved her favouritism, winning by 0.82 lengths ahead of Malcolm Johnston's Resonare and Cheryl Crockett's Balmain Girl.