A return to the straight track at Flemington could spark Office Bearer into winning form.
Victory in the Standish Handicap (1200m) would give trainer Peter Moody and jockey Vlad Duric back-to-back victories in the Group Three race.
The pair combined to win the New Year’s Day feature with Flamberge 12 months ago.
Office Bearer is coming off a six-week freshen-up after four runs during the Melbourne spring resulted in one placing.
That happened to be up the straight at Flemington on Melbourne Cup day with the five-year-old finishing second to Reparations, the topweight and favourite for the Standish.
Office Bearer was sent for a break following a disappointing ninth in the Kevin Heffernan Stakes at Sandown on November 15.
But Moody said the entire had freshened up well and was on target for a first-up tilt at the Standish.
“He was good up the straight during Cup week and we’ve targeted this race with him,” Moody said.
With Moody hoping Office Bearer can return to form in the Standish, stablemate Cadillac Mountain is aiming for three straight victories in the Bagot Handicap (2800m).
A victory by Cadillac Mountain would give Moody a second Bagot success having previously scored with Reggie in 2007.
Cadillac Mountain won the Werribee Cup on November 20 before winning again at Werribee on December 14.
“He’s probably got to improve a little bit, but you usually find when they’ve had that run beyond 2000 metres they usually do,” Moody said.