Trainer Stephen Miller acknowledges General Grant faces a big ask to defeat Villeins in Saturday’s XXXX Kalgoorlie Cup (2300m), but he’s optimistic he can end the Kalgoorlie carnival on a high.

Miller is chasing back-to-back feature races in Kalgoorlie after Magnificent Andy scored a fighting victory over Let’s Galahvant in Wednesday’s Hannans Handicap (1400m).

General Grant was soundly beaten by the Grant and Alana Williams-trained Captain Villeins in the Boulder Cup (2100m), finishing a distant 8th, and failing to have any impact in the race.

Captain Villeins is the rock-solid favourite with Tabtouch for the Kalgoorlie Cup, shortening to $1.95 after the in-form five-year-old opened at $2.60. Be Optimistic is next at $4.20.

Currently rated a $23 chance, the only shining light in an otherwise lean campaign for General Grant came in August when he won a 2200m event at Belmont Park in June.

Miller concedes Captain Villeins will be hard to beat in the Kalgoorlie Cup, but is banking on a change of routine to help spark General Grant back into form.

“I’ve got a girl doing some work with him at the pony club, jumping and a bit of dressage and all that,” Miller told Tabradio.

“I’m just trying a different tact with him and hopefully that will turn him around a little bit.

“He possibly can’t beat the favourite, but he’ll go into it pretty fit.

“As I said, he’s had a change in training routine and ideally I would like to win the race for Rod (Rod Russell-owner).

“We’ll be out there doing our best.”

General Grant has drawn barrier three with Michael Poy booked for the ride.

Captain Villeins has drawn inside of General Grant in gate two. Chris Parnham replaces the injured William Pike.

Meanwhile, Miller says he will let the dust settle on Magnificent Andy’s Hannans success, but will probably look at a low grade feature race over the Pinnacles carnival.

Miller also predicts a bright future for stable mate Great Demon who resumed to make it two from two and maintain his unbeaten status at Kalgoorlie on Wednesday.

Julio Santarelli