Chris Gangemi is hoping his good form can extend to Wednesday when two of his sprinters lock horns in the Carlton Draught Handicap (1000m) at Belmont.
Gangemi, fresh from celebrating his maiden Perth training double on Saturday, says he can’t separate stable mates The Entourage and Maskaev.
With two runs back The Entourage holds the fitness edge and last fortnight in a thrilling photo finish he ran a short neck third to Whataplan.
The eight-year-old, who carries top weight of 60kg, will race in a forward and handy position after drawing barrier one for, Jarrad Noske.
Maskaev, who enjoys a 5.5kg weight advantage over The Entourage, hasn’t been seen at the races since running fifth to Shooey at Ascot in February.
But the Starcraft four-year-old does his best work when fresh and will have admirers with one win and two placings from four first up attempts.
In the absence of regular rider, Craig Staples, who is out injured, Maskaev will be in the hands of Peter Knuckey. They combine from gate three.
“It does look a nice race for The Entourage who should be able to get a nice run and lead from barrier one,” said Gangemi on TABradio.
“He is an eight-year-old who returned to form last start and you would think he is only going to get better with fitness.
“Maskaev also has to be given a chance with only 54.5kg on his back and he does race well when fresh.
“I think they both are going to be really hard to beat and I honestly can split them, as long as one gets up I will be happy.”
Gangemi said Windswept will target upcoming feature sprint races after finally delivering on his promise at Belmont last weekend.
The Snitzel gelding arrived from Sydney last year with a big reputation but despite several competitive races he failed to breakthrough.
But Gangemi never lost faith and his patience was rewarded when Windswept impressively defeated hot favourite, Rebel King, by 1 ¾ lengths.
“We’ve had a big opinion since we bought him and have been waiting for that win for a long time,” said Gangemi.
“He ran a lot of good races last preparation without winning.
“I’m hoping he can do what Rock Magic did last year and win some listed races at the end of his preparation.
“Hopefully he can show everybody how good he is because we have thought it a long time and Saturday was the first step in that direction.”
Rock Magic won four consecutive races between 1000m and 1400m culminating with the Farnley Stakes (1400m) in September.
RWWA: Julio Santarelli