Jockey Mitchell Pateman believes two key factors could deny him scoring his first Kalgoorlie Cup (2200m) success on Saturday.
Pateman partners Touch Of Silver and says a distance query and the presence of Group 1 champion Ihtsahymn are the biggest dangers to the Saxon gelding.
Touch Of Silver has won ten races up to 1800m and in his first attempt over a middle distance trip he ran third in the Boulder Cup (2111m) last fortnight.
Ihtsahymn has breathed new life into his nine-year-old legs with a winning hat trick including an emotional Darwin Cup triumph(2000m) in August.
The 2013 winner of the Kingston Town Stakes (1800m) warmed up for his Kalgoorlie assault with a sound barrier trial, cruising the line untouched over 1450m.
The Rob Gulberti-trained gelding is the 60kg top weight in the Kalgoorlie Cup. Drawn in barrier eight he will be ridden for the first time by Jarrad Noske
“He (Touch Of Silver) is probably a query at the 2200 (metres), but you know he is one of Adam’s (Durrant) horses so you know you are a chance and he will be fit,” Pateman told Tabradio.
“If he can run it he will run it, but in my honest opinion the top weight is a class above them and obviously very well rated against them horses.
“He’s a Group 1 winner, won a Guineas, won everything, won a Darwin Cup last start so it’s not like he is out of form.
“He is well weighted in the race and he will be very hard to beat.”
Ihtsahymn ($3.50) holds narrow favouritism over Spiritual Warrior $3.80.
First Affair ($4.80), Touch Of Silver ($5.50) and Dark Prospect ($9.50) are in single figures.
Touch Of Silver will jump from barrier five. Pateman is hoping for a soft run.
“I imagine we would have to still ride him reasonably quiet early to run the 2200m,” Pateman said.
“Her should find a good spot and hopefully lob on the back of Ihtsahymn or First Affair and they should take him right into the race.
“If he gets an economical run he can run in the first three.”
Pateman also says Mervyn, Nemiroff and Regal Counsel would be very hard to beat at the Kalgoorlie meeting.