Everything finally seems to be going right for Michael Pay and his stable in the lead-up to Sunday's harness race meeting, but he's aware there's not much he can do but train and hope for the best.
While the races have been back on home ground for a little over a month, never knowing what the future could hold in the time of COVID-19 isn't something Pay intends to stress over.
"Things aren't going too bad right now, we're just kind of settling in and we're going to keep pushing and see how the situation plays out overall, there's not much we can do otherwise," Pay said.
"Keep turning up, keep training, keep racing."
For now, Pay and his son Jack are completely focused on their entrant who'll be taking to the Dubbo track on Sunday, with Jacobs Thunder hoping to back up a recent second place finish in Parkes with a turn at home.
"Jack drove him really well last week, so I'm expecting good things, he went really good in Parkes, though I think this week the number two looks pretty hard to beat, but he'll definitely be there in the final line again, I think he'll have a big show," Pay said.
The six-year-old gelding look set for a breakout win, with steadily improving form providing a string of second place finishes over his last season, but Pay isn't sure it'll come this weekend in the 2120m Crampton's Carpets Pace.
"I'm pretty hopeful he'll finish in the top three again, we were only beat by a head last week, he's drawn three, so he should be able to get out there pretty quickly again and I think if he can find that lead, he'll be real hard to beat," Pay said.
"I don't know if that one of Steve [Turnbull]'s will let us get there, but after about 200 metres, we'll know where we're sitting and what's likely to happen next."
Turnbull's horse, Drive to the Beach, was also up near the finisher in last weekend's foray at Parkes, coming in third in his race.
But a win will simply be an added bonus for Pay, who's happy just to be training and racing at home after having to make the trip to Bathurst during the more restrictive lockdown period.
"It's definitely been difficult and it's good having gone back to the regional standards, getting to keep racing at Parkes and Dubbo is great, because the trips to Bathurst all the time is quite hard," Pay said.
"It makes it hard to race there against the better horses, out here it's not necessarily easier, but it's your home track and you don't have to go as far."
"It was hard for everyone when the showground shut down."
Racing is set to begin on Sunday from 12.31pm.