A turnaround in the weights gives South Australian trainer Richard Jolly confidence seven-year-old Alcohol is capable of turning the tables on his last-start conqueror at Caulfield.
Alcohol turned in his best performance of this preparation when he returned to Moonee Valley last start and was closing late for second to Longeron over 2040m.
The pair will meet again on Saturday in a field of 10 in the Kevin Dunne Plate (2000m) , with Alcohol meeting the Hawkes Racing trained galloper 2kg better at the weights.
“The races in Adelaide (at the start of his campaign) hadn’t really suited him but we got him back over to Melbourne and in a more genuinely-run race he bounced back to form,” Jolly said.
“I was really happy with his run, I’m sure there’s still improvement in him from that and I’m reasonably confident going into Saturday.
“He meets Longeron a bit better at the weights and I think our bloke has improved again. I don’t think there’s much between them.”
One query for Jolly with Alcohol is the gelding will be racing at Caulfield for the first time on Saturday.
His best form in Melbourne has been at Moonee Valley.
“I’d be a bit more confident if it was around Moonee Valley but he’s a pretty adaptable horse,” Jolly said.
“As long as it’s a genuinely run race I don’t think it will be a problem.”
Craig Williams rode Alcohol in his runner-up finish at Moonee Valley and again takes the ride on Saturday.
Williams is in a battle with Longeron’s jockey Dwayne Dunn for this season’s Melbourne premiership.
Jolly took Alcohol back to South Australia after his Moonee Valley race with the gelding to be floated back to Melbourne on Thursday night.
The Darren Weir-trained Ar Revoir is topweight with 60kg in Saturday’s race with the Ciaron Maher-trained Kapour and Longeron to carry 57.5kg.