Albury trainer Graham Hulm is hopeful Lord Von Costa will justify a rare trip to Sydney when he lines up in the Winter Dash at Randwick.
The four-year-old will be having his first start since he finished second to Santa Ana Lane in the Wagga Town Plate on May 4.
He will get his preferred wet ground in Saturday’s 1200m-sprint in which he will start from barrier four although his trainer would rather he had drawn a little wider.
Last winter, Lord Von Costa had a stint with trainer Stephen Brown in Melbourne finishing second to Group One performer Spieth before winning the Listed Creswick Series final.
He returned to Hulm in October and had two starts before a spell.
He was given a freshen-up after the worst start of his career at Albury in March when he beat just one runner home after starting from barrier two.
“We’d seen him in the pack before in Albury and he went shocking,” Hulm said.
“He got a couple of bad checks and never finished it off at all.
“He’s a big strong quiet bugger. You think he’d be ideal in the ruck but I don’t think it suits him really.
“He drew 17 at Wagga and that was a real good run because he was out wide.”
Although Hulm would have preferred a wide gate, Lord Von Costa gets the track conditions to suit regardless of the weather in Sydney before race day.
“We like the sting out of the ground and Melbourne at the moment is very dry, good 3s and good 4s so we reckon Sydney will be more suitable with the weather they’ve had,” Hulm said.
Randwick was classified as a heavy 9 on Wednesday but may be upgraded.
“We’d like it to come back a bit but if it is a heavy 9 he’s been through it before in trials up there when he was a two-year-old,” Hulm said.
Lord Von Costa has stablemate Smakatus for company on the journey north with the seven-year-old also looking for wet tracks over winter.
Smakatus lines up in the benchmark 78 (1400m) and has barrier 15.
Hulm, who has seven horses in work, has forgiven Smakatus for his last start 11th of 12 in a benchmark race at Sandown on May 27.
“We took him to Melbourne and he was outclassed on a good track at Sandown, which I never thought we’d get,” he said.
“Every time I’ve been there it’s been a bog so it was a bit quick for him.”