LONG-time Corowa horseman Geoff Duryea will look to remove an item from his bucket list at Murrumbidgee Turf Club on Thursday.
It is full steam ahead to the $200,000 Wagga Town Plate (1200m) for Duryea and the connections of Front Page after he drew ideally in barrier six on Tuesday.
The Wagga Town Plate has long eluded Duryea, one of the most experienced horseman in the Southern District.
But he will return on Thursday with his talented stakes winner Front Page, hoping he can put an end to a long run of near misses.
"There's only two races I haven't won, one is the Berrigan Cup and the other one is the Town Plate," Duryea said.
"I rode three seconds in the Town Plate and I've trained three seconds in the Town Plate."
Duryea has engaged the services of former top Southern District apprentice jockey Tyler Schiller, who is leading the apprentice title in Sydney this season.
Front Page, who has not started since September last year, tuned up for his return with a nice second in a barrier trial at Wodonga last month.
Having shrugged off injury for a second time in his short career, Front Page will now resume with connections hopeful he can return to his brilliant best.
"All we can do now is take him up there and hope he performs," Duryea said.
"He's done plenty of work but when they've been off for such a long time, you're just not 100 per cent certain that they've got their confidence back for their racing pattern.
"It's easy to get them fit, horses that have been injured, but you never know what's going on in their head."
Duryea had initially flagged the Town Plate as his preferential starting point for this preparation but also stated the back up option was a race at Caulfield on Saturday.
In the end, a rating of 86 in Melbourne ruled that out.
"The race I wanted to run it at Caulfield, it was the Benchmark 78 1200 but they've rated him too high," he said.
"That took that option away. He'd be carrying 65 or 66. We just left our eggs in the basket and hoped we drew a barrier and we did."
Front Page highlighted his ability with a breathtaking win in the 2020 listed Creswick Stakes (1200m) at Flemington.
ALSO IN SPORT
The five-year-old has only managed four runs since that day as injury struck in the lead up to a start in the past two editions of the $1.3 million Kosciuszko at Randwick.
Front Page is the $4.60 second favourite in pre-post markets.
Duryea's only other starter for the two-day carnival is unraced two-year-old Persian Dancer.
Our journalists work hard to provide local, up-to-date news to the community. This is how you can continue to access our trusted content:
Sign up for our newsletter to stay up to date.