Rival trainer Norm Loy has labelled The Doctor's Son as the class runner of the $150,000 Country Championships qualifier field at Wagga on Saturday.
And it's hard to argue considering the form The Doctor's Son displayed last preparation.
The six-year-old gelding is set to tackle the $150,000 feature first-up from 14-week spell but has never won when resuming from four previous attempts.
The Doctor's Son captured the biggest win of his career in September last year with a barnstorming victory in the $80,000 The Panorama, (1300m) at Bathurst.
He then proved the win was no fluke when beaten just over two-lengths in the Snake Gully Cup over the Championships distance of (1400m).
Loy rates that performance as a terrific form pointer for Saturday's assignment.
"Realistically, if The Doctor's Son is on song, he is the horse to beat," Loy said.
"The query is that he has never won when resuming but has won three of four second-up.
"I rate the Snake Gully Cup as the toughest 1400m race to win in the Southern Districts.
"Gai Waterhouse won it last year with Regal Stage.
"The Doctor's Son only got beat just over two lengths in open company in a $100,000 race.
"That's impressive form considering he drops back to a Class 5 on Saturday."
Loy will saddle-up roughie Takissacod in the qualifier who he expects to run a cheeky race.
The former jockey rated the overall field as one of the 'weakest' qualifiers in recent years with only four realistic hopes.
Loy said he would be surprised if The Doctor's Son, Another One, Oamanikka or Mnementh didn't make the $500,000 final at Randwick in April.
"It's the weakest qualifier I've seen," he said.
"There is some quality in The Doctor's Son, Another One, Oamanikka and Mnementh.
"But that's about it.
"Some good judges feel there are some progressive horses in the race but I'm not so sure.
"Oamanikka is, Mnementh is a handy horse, Another One is a nice horse and was an impressive winner of a highway.
"Other than that it is an ordinary race in my opinion.
"There are quite a few Class One horses going around in the race.
"When was the last time you saw a Class One horse win a Championship qualifier?"
Bookmakers support Loy's argument with nine of the 15 runners at $26 plus in pre-post markets.
The Gary Colvin-trained Another One has been installed the $2.80-favourite after winning a TAB Highway two starts back.
The Donna Scott-trained Oamanikka is next best and is a $4.40 second favourite.
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