Trainer Donna Scott will be out to enhance her reputation as the queen of the Country Championships qualifier when she launches a four-pronged attack on the $150,000 feature at Wagga on Saturday.
Scott has made the lucrative $500,000 final at Randwick for the past three years in-a-row with her mighty mare Bennelong Dancer who is now enjoying retirement.
She will saddle-up Oamanikka, Halo Warrior, Bautista and Gottaluvtrucks.
In-form hoop Blaike McDougall had the choice of the stable's runners and opted to commit to Oamanikka last month.
Bookmakers also consider Oamanikka the best of Scott's quartet and is rated as the $4.40 second favourite.
Halo Warrior is considered an outside chance at $15 while Bautista ($26) and Gottaluvtrucks ($101) will have to cause a boilover to make the final.
Scott said little separated Oamanikka and Halo Warrior with McDougall also second guessing himself if he made the right choice.
"Blaike will be the first to admit it was a tough decision," Scott said.
"He has won on all four horses but missed riding Halo Warrior when he won the Championships Preview at Albury because he had a ride for the Hayes-Dabernig stable.
"I'm tipping if Blaike was on, it may have been a flip of the coin decision for him.
"The other thing Blaike made his decision about a month ago because he is in such demand from trainers."
Scott said both Oamanikka and Halo Warrior were peaking at the right time with both gallopers coming off career best wins.
Oamanikka ran a slashing second at Moonee Valley over 1200m in his city debut.
While Halo Warrior produced a powerful finishing burst over 1400m at Albury after spotting the leader four-lengths at the 200m.
"Running second in the city gives you a fair bit of confidence," she said.
"We all know how hard it is to just be competitive in the city, let alone win a race.
"If Oamanikka misses out on making the final, I won't hesitate to go back to the city and try and win a race with him."
Oamanikka has drawn 14 in the 15-horse field with Halo Warrior in three.
But Scott has the benefit of the best jockey in country NSW with plenty of tempo expected over the 1400m.
"I think Halo Warrior needed to draw a barrier to be a chance," she said.
"But I'm not too concerned about Oamanikka drawing wide.
"There is a bit of a back straight at Wagga so Blaike will be able to sum up the situation and slot in somewhere.
"Blaike is the leading jockey in country NSW for a reason.
"Hopefully he finds a bit of cover and then gets out at the right time in the straight to be in the finish."
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