IT would be hard to find a more consistent galloper at Wodonga today than Spanish Poet.
The Peter Maher-trained gelding hardly knows how to run a bad race after notching two wins and six seconds from his past nine starts.
Spanish Poet had his consistency rewarded with a last-start win at Gundagai, courtesy of a perfect ride from jockey Brodie Loy.
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Apprentice Michael Poy replaces Loy in the saddle in the $35,000 Benchmark 64 Hcp, (1590m).
Maher is hoping the home track advantage can provide Spanish Poet with an edge in his first run over a mile.
"It looks another winnable race for him," Maher said.
"In saying that, it does look a bit stronger company than what he has been contesting lately.
"He is such an honest galloper and doesn't know how to run a bad race.
"It is his first go at a mile which is always a bit of query until they are proven at the distance.
"But he is rock hard fit, gets onto his home track and will be hard to beat once again."
Spanish Poet likes to race on the pace and Maher expects Loy to push forward after drawing the widest barrier in the nine horse field.
"He will push forward and I'd imagine sit outside the leader," he said.
"There is quite a few locals who own the horse and it would no doubt be a huge thrill for them if they could win a race on cup day.
"But being a $35,000 race it is ultra competitive as you would expect and he is going to need his fair share of luck to win again."
Spanish Poet is quoted as a $4 second favourite in pre-post markets.
Last-start Geelong winner Busta Move is the $3.20-favourite for Caulfield trainer Henry Dwyer.
Maher will saddle up three runners at the meeting with stablemates Openhimup and Ahadi Farasi both searching for the first win of their careers.
Openhimup will contest the $35,000 Maiden Plate, (1200m) and has been placed on both occasions of his two start career.
The three-year-old gelding hit the line strongly last start over 1000m and looks to be suited to the step-up to 1200m.
Poy is booked to ride Openhimup who has drawn barrier eight.
"He hasn't been far away in two starts but has a tricky draw," Maher said.
"I think the horse has his fair share of ability but has a habit of doing a few things wrong.
"He missed the kick badly at Gundagai the other day and got a long way back.
"I thought he did a good job to get as close as he did considering he was 12-lengths off the leader at one stage.
"So we will see how he goes today."