Brett Cavanough was surprised when Patino Ruby wasn't one of the initial choices for the $1.3 million Kosciuszko, but know she's there the Scone trainer is confident of a strong showing.
Up until a couple of weeks ago, the leading bush trainer and winner of the country-only feature in 2020 was set to miss on gaining a spot in this year's field.
Cavanough had prepared Patino Ruby and Fender for the rich event but one by one the 14 slots in the race were filled and he missed out.
But an unfortunate injury to Victorem meant Dubbo slot winner Warwick Harper and good mate Warren Watts were forced to reassess and pick a new representative, and Cavanough's exciting mare was locked in.
Patino Ruby will run for Harper in the Kosciuszko on Saturday, with Alysha Collett confirmed to take the ride on the mare with three wins and two placings from seven career starts.
"We're ready to go. There's not much more we can do. The horse is ready and she's been set for this race for a long time, even though she was slow to get picked," Cavanough said.
"We were going to race her but I thought she'd get picked. We risked it and got lucky when Victorem got injured."
After selecting Patino Ruby, Harper said the potential of the mare was key.
She might not have the record or star power of the likes of Front Page, Art Cadeau, or Handle The Truth but the four-year-old is highly regarded by the Cavanough team.
Cavanough knows what it takes to win a Kosciuszko, after winning last year with It's Me.
I just can't wait for it to happen.Brett Cavanough on the Kosciuszko
Patino Ruby has followed the same path as It's Me, having had just one trial since a Rosehill win on September 4.
"We didn't want to change much up. It's just about getting her ready for the race, simple," he said, before speaking about Patino Ruby's potential.
"She was going to go to a Group 2 but she got in the Kozzi and we might end up in Melbourne with her yet in November. We'll see how we go."
Part of the reason of not racing since September 4 was to avoid a rise in benchmark rating and weights, as Patino Ruby will go in with just 53.5kg on her back on Saturday.
The conditions aren't a worry either, with rain likely in the city in the coming days.
"She'll just get a gun ride in behind them, I assume, looking at the barrier draw," Cavanough said.
"That was sweet. I'm not worried about any rain. She's a duck, she swims, so I just can't wait for it to happen."
The Kosciuszko jumps at 2.50pm on Saturday.
Our journalists work hard to provide local, up-to-date news to the community. This is how you can continue to access our trusted content: