Frustrated trainer Ron Stubbs is sweating on a city start for his stayer Spunlago at Caulfield today.
Spunlago is a dual acceptor at Caulfield as well as Wagga tomorrow.
The seven-year-old gelding is second emergency at Caulfield in the $125,000 Handicap (1600m) with Joe Bowditch booked to ride.
Stubbs has also accepted at Wagga tomorrow in the $37,000 Murrumbidgee Cup (1800m) but is hesitant to run, with Spunlago allocated top-weight of 62½kg after apprentice Josh Richards' claim.
Spunlago hasn't raced since finishing midfield in the Canberra Cup in early March after being trapped wide after drawing awkwardly.
The Ted Ryder Cup winner was set to race in the Albury Gold Cup before the meeting was abandoned.
Stubbs is keen to target next month's Wagga Cup but is desperate to give Spunlago at least one if not two runs in preparation.
"Melbourne is the preferred option if we gain a start," Stubbs said.
"If we don't get a start in the city I'm not that keen to race at Wagga to be honest with the big weight over 1800m after not having raced for over a month.
"Melbourne is the preferred option because we haven't had a run for 35 days and it's only over a mile.
"We targeted a race at Bendigo after the Albury Gold Cup but were balloted out and again at Caulfield last weekend and we were also balloted out.
"So its been a bit frustrating but we will keep persevering."
Stubbs said he faced a race against time to get Spunlago to peak fitness ahead of the Wagga Cup.
"Hopefully we get a start at Caulfield and I can get a gauge on how he is travelling fitness-wise," he said.
"Depending on how he pulls-up and how he goes but there is another option on Anzac Day if he needs another run.
"Over a month between runs wasn't planned so I don't know how much fitness he has lost."
The Craig Widdison-trained Willi Willi is an acceptor for the same Caulfield race with Nikita Beriman booked to ride.
Willi Willi could also head to Wagga.
- Receive our daily newsletter straight to your inbox each morning from The Border Mail. Sign up here.