A 1750km round trip awaits Chicago Bear this weekend and it's all for Sunday's Dubbo Gold Cup.
The Cranbourne-trained Chicago Bear will hit the road in the early hours of Friday morning to arrive in Dubbo ahead of the 2023 Dubbo City and Gilgandra Toyota Gold Cup (1600m).
It's set to be a near 20-hour road trip for Trent Busuttin and Natalie Young's gelding but the former said he isn't too worried about the journey.
"It's no different from going to Sydney I don't think," he said.
"Instead of going to Sydney, you just stay inland and it's about nine and a half hours.
"We'd travel up to Sydney for a similar race and this one has a fair carrot dangling at the end of it.
"I just thought five or six years ago a $3 million was a game-changer, now obviously stake money is through the roof.
"So it kind of is just another race which sounds silly because it isn't, if this horse could get the opportunity we would be happy to have a go."
Sunday's $100,000 Gold Cup is the second time the race has been a qualifier for the Big Dance and the automatic nomination means trainers are travelling from all over.
A last-start winner, Chicago Bear has drawn barrier seven for the big race and Busuttin has his fingers crossed a Big Dance entry is on the cards.
"We were obviously aware of the race, we had a look at it last year on television," he said.
"We had a look at the qualifiers and what horses we thought could suit. You've got the wildcard race I think but obviously, that is in Sydney, we thought we would try and sneak in this way.
"I don't know what his odds will be and it's never easy to win a race. I'm sure the field will be very competitive."
Chicago Bear is no stranger to travel, having won at Morphettville just a few weeks ago.
"He headed over to Adelaide, got the money and travelled back good," Busuttin said.
"It's pretty straightforward these days, you travel up a bit earlier and let them get settled in."
Bjorn Baker has four hopes in Sunday's race while Clint Lundholm's Smooth Esprit, Watch Me Rumble and Notabadidea have all been accepted for the Gold Cup.
Winning and second-placed horses from each race become eligible for the race on November 7.
Meanwhile, the Evergreen Turf Vincent Gordon Handicap (1100m) field has been revealed.
Former Dubbo galloper Talbragar headlines the field while Brett Robb's Rylan's Pick is one of the local hopes.
Sunday's Gold Cup will jump at 4:45pm.
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