DONNA Scott has dismissed suggestions that Bennelong Dancer tackling the $150,000 SDRA Country Championship qualifier at Albury on Saturday first-up from a spell is a concern.
While the final field will not be released until Thursday, Bennelong Dancer is likely to be only one of four horses resuming in the lucrative feature.
Bennelong Dancer hasn't raced since running second at Wagga on Christmas Eve but won a trial on her home track earlier this month.
"She is a really clean winded mare and tackling the race first-up is the least of my worries," Scott said.
"She had a decent hit-out in her trial because she was going into this race first-up.
"If the Championship preview was 1200m instead of 1400m we probably would have went around in it in preference to trialing.
"But she will be fit enough to run a strong 1400m, she had those couple of starts before Christmas and has residual fitness on her side.
"Its was the plan six-months ago and we haven't deviated.
"She's had no setbacks and everything has gone to plan, I can't get her any better and have given her every chance."
Bennelong Dancer will be aiming to create history when she contests the qualifier.
This year will be the fourth year of the championships with no SDRA galloper yet to make successive finals.
Bennelong Dancer ran second in the qualifier last year before finishing fourth in the final at Randwick.
Wagga-trained gallopers Foverver Newyork and O' So Hazy are also trying to achieve the feat.
Forever Newyork finished 14th in the final two years ago, while O' So Hazy boasts the highest placing of SDRA gallopers in the final after running third last year.
Bennelong Dancer was trained by Graham Hulm last year but his daughter, Donna Scott, has replaced her father for this years assault.
Scott felt Bennelong Dancer was a better galloper heading into this years qualifier.
"We probably just learnt a few little quirky things about her," she said.
"She is not a big, gross doing mare and likes three weeks between runs.
"She is a bigger mare now and has grown and filled out a bit more.
"Last year we were struggling to make the field and it was a bit of a rushed preparation.
"We had to race her more than we would have liked to get her rating up so she could gain a start."
Although Bennelong Dancer made the final last year, Scott said her mare would have to raise the bar to reach those lofty heights again.
"The race certainly has got a lot more depth than last year," she said.
"There is a query on some of the leading fancies like News Girl and Yousay Bolt who are untried over the trip.
"O' So Hazy, Takookacod and Forever Newyork are all seasoned horses and it wouldn't surprise if any of them made the final.
"If I had to pick one it would be Forever Newyork who is a class horse and is a last-start winner in town."
Forever Newyork beat Bennelong Dancer at their most recent clash at Wagga on Christmas eve.
But the turnaround in weights has Scott confident that Bennelong Dancer can turn the tables on her home track.
"Forever Newyork beat us fair and square last time, but there is a big turnaround in the weights," she said.
"There is five kilograms difference on Saturday and its been a while since my mare got into a race carrying 54kg."
While Scott can't fault the preparation of Bennelong Dancer, she was now hoping for a wide barrier at the draw.
"Hopefully we can draw out in the second-half of the field," she said.
"She is a horse who likes her galloping room, she can go back, she just needs clear running over the final 300-400m to knuckle down and do her best work."
In-form hoop Blaike McDougall has elected to stick with Bennelong Dancer despite having the opportunity to ride several other leading fancies in the race.
McDougall pulled the right rein last time when he chose to ride Forever Newyork in preference to Bennelong Dancer on Christmas eve.
Scott said she didn't trying to influence McDougall's decision even though he is the partner of her daughter, Danielle.
"It was a big call for Blaike to make and I hope he didn't feel any pressure to stick with her," she said.
"He was on her when she won her maiden two year's ago and he got off her and said she was a country championship horse.
"He rides all her work and there is a connection between the two.
"No doubt he was torn between three or four horses but he would have been devastated if he got off her to ride another horse and she did get up."
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