Lanciato will have to overcome a wide barrier and significant weight rise if he is to become the first horse in 35 years to go back-to-back in the Newcastle Newmarket.
The Mark Newnham-trained backmarker has drawn the outside in the field of 13 and has 58kg, four kilos more than he carried to victory in the corresponding race 12 months ago.
“I would have preferred him to draw in a bit and be in front of two or three but he is a get-back horse so it’s not the worst,” Newnham said.
“He’s in good shape. He goes very well second-up. It’s the ideal distance for him, 1400, and he won the race last year and is going equally as well. He’s just got to carry a bit more weight.”
The last horse to win consecutive runnings of the Newcastle Newmarket was Manuan in 1983-84.
Lanciato finished a length from the winner when he resumed with a fifth to Ekstein in the Southern Cross Stakes at Randwick last month.
Newnham has taken confidence from the fact the form has since been franked by Dreamforce, who was also unplaced before bouncing back to win at Randwick.
“He makes it hard for himself because he gets into difficult positions but he went really well,” Newnham said.
“Dreamforce has come out of the race and won the Liverpool City Cup last Saturday, so the form is pretty good.
“If he won, he’d most likely wait and go to the All Aged and then onto Brisbane. Ideally, I’d like to end up in a Stradbroke with him.”
Kris Lees will saddle up two runners in his home track feature on Friday, Invincible Gem and Princess Posh who are both coming off unplaced first-up runs in the Triscay Stakes.