REJUVENATED galloper Pittsburgh will be on the quick back-up on Saturday as Dan McCarthy eyes his first victory in the Corowa Cup.
Pittsburgh stamped himself as an above average galloper with victory in the Albury Mile over the Albury Gold Cup carnival two years ago.
But a tendon injury suffered early last year forced the son of Fastnet Rock to spend almost 12 months on the sidelines.
Pittsburgh has had four runs since resuming in late December.
McCarthy said he was buoyed by Pittsburgh's second placing at Wangaratta on Sunday and felt his six-year-old gelding was close to recapturing his best form.
"I think he may have bumped into a fairly smart youngster last week at Wangaratta," McCarthy said.
"Even after we used the claim with Alexandra Bryan the horse still had to carry his fair share of weight.
"The winner (Contrition) pinched a winning break on the corner while we were in a traffic jam and looking for some galloping room.
"I thought he finished the race off nicely once in the clear."
Pittsburgh is yet to finish outside the placings in three previous starts at Corowa including finishing runner-up in the Corowa Cup two years ago.
The well-bred gelding was formerly trained by Anthony Cummings before joining McCarthy's stables as a four-year-old.
"He had a tendon injury when he first arrived at the stable," he said.
"After he recovered, he had a terrific prepartion, winning a Wagga maiden in his first start for the stable and quickly going through his grades to be good enough to win the Albury Mile," he said.
"He then re-injured his tendon and now he's back.
"When he ran second in the Corowa Cup last time he was coming off a Wangaratta run the previous week.
"But his most recent Wangaratta run was a lot better than last time so I'm hoping he can peak over the next two runs and also prove competitive over the Albury carnival."
Meanwhile, talented stablemate Ashlor will target the Echuca Cup on Sunday.
Ashlor was an impressive winner of the $100,000 Eldorado at Wangaratta last Sunday and looms as the testing material in the $100,000 Echuca feature.
"The quick back-up is not normally his go," he said.
"But he didn't have to travel last week and has thrived since the win."