Last year Clint Lundholm touted Joey's Destiny as a potential runner in The Kosciuszko, and while he isn't making any big claims before the consistent gelding's return to the track on Tuesday he's still in a positive mood.
One of the real stars of the Lundholm stables, Joey's Destiny has proven himself an incredibly strong performer and has only run worse than fourth three times in his 25-start career.
The five-year-old gelding has been in the paddock since October of last year but after finishing first in two recent trials he will be in action in the KFC Wellington Handicap (1100m) on Tuesday.
He's been whacked with 63.5kg for the event, due to his benchmark rating of 87, but the four kilogram claim of apprentice Yvette Lewis helps offset that.
"He's back, with the 63.5kg and all," Lundholm said, fresh from training a winning treble at his hometown track on Saturday.
"He's as big and as strong as ever. Nothing has changed. He's a front-running horse and he'll put himself in the race."
Joey's Destiny took out the Flying Handicap at Dubbo Turf Club in one of his last starts before his recent spell, and after that win Lundholm said he wouldn't have looked out of place in The Kosciuszko - the $1.3 million dollar country only event run on Everest day at Randwick.
He didn't get a start in that feature and while the trainer hasn't pitted out a path which could end in the richest event for country horses this time around, a trip to Sydney could still be on the cards.
A strong performance on Tuesday could see Joey's Destiny next contest a midweek event at Canterbury later this month.
"I don't like to get too carried away because he's so hard to place now," Lundholm said of future races for the gelding.
The focus for now is on Wellington, where Joey's Destiny will go from gate four of eight in a race filled with classy horses.
Another highly-rated western area horse, Absolute Ripper, will carry 60.5kg from gate two for Orange's Alison Smith while another Orange chance will be one many from this region are familiar with.
La La Loopsy will make his second start for Joe Curran in the KFC Wellington Handicap, the seven-year-old mare back from a horror run with injuries after what was a hugely exciting start to her career.
Previously trained at Dubbo by Peter Nestor, La La Loopsy ran second to Stoneyrise in the 2017 Western Districts Country Championships Qualifier.
However, she came out of that race with foreleg injury and after missing the final she wouldn't race again until a ninth-placed finish at Wagga on debut for Curran on June 23.
Tuesday's race will also feature the Dennis Bush-trained Molasses.
"It's definitely a very competitive race," Lundholm said.
"As long as he (Joey's Destiny) is competitive and runs well I'll be happy. If he wins it then he's come back better than ever but if he runs well and is thereabouts then we'll know he's as good as always."
Lundholm, who is enjoying his most successful season as a trainer to date with more than 30 winners, will also have Gorn Hoff in the Keirles Pharmacy Class 1 and Maiden Plate (1700m) at Wellington.
Tuesday's seven-race meeting starts at 1.05pm with the KFC Wellington Handicap the fifth race on the card.