Danny Williams is satisfied Mister Marmalade and O’Lordy will handle the step up in distance when they line up in a Highway Handicap over 1800 metres at Rosehill.
The Goulburn trainer, who has won five Highway races restricted to country horses, said there were mitigating factors for Mister Marmalade’s unplaced finishes since he was transferred from Greg Bennett.
Williams said the four-year-old was urged to accelerate too soon at Rosehill on June 3 at his first run for the stable.
Mister Marmalade ran fifth and then a heavy track helped consign him to seventh at the same venue a fortnight later.
“He’s come up really well. He just hasn’t had any luck,” Williams said.
“First-up at 1400 Deanne (Panya) stepped over the mark with him a little and may have gone a little bit too far from home.
“He was going well in his next run but he just folded in the heavy going.”
Rosehill was rated a soft 7 on Thursday with track manager Chris Toogood hoping for an for an upgrade given fine weather in the lead-up to race day.
Williams hopes that prediction is accurate because he reckons Mister Marmalade, who has apprentice Panya aboard again, will not be troubled by the distance.
“Greg always thought that sort of trip was going to be more suitable,” he said.
“We just need ground firm enough to show his best.”
Williams said Panya would be instructed not to ride the horse quite as positively as she did first-up while Jay Ford rides four-year-old mare O’Lordy, the $5.50 joint favourite with the Cameron Crockett-trained Barbass.
“I think it’s the best I’ve ever had her,” Williams said.
“She’s a mare that is looking for 2000 or further.”
O’Lordy was a last-start second to the Matt Dunn-trained Zamex at Rosehill on June 17, a result Williams said was influenced by a freshen-up.
“We gave her ten days out in the paddock and I felt she may have been a little underdone,” he said.