SIX-year-old local gelding Count The Chimes could emulate his win at the same meeting last year by scoring in the Gooch Agencies Gloucester Cup (2000m) at Krambach Race Club's seven-race TAB meeting at Taree on Tuesday.
On that occasion the Ross Stitt-trained galloper scored in one of the country's longest races over 2530m at its third run from a spell, this time again having its third run from a let-up.
Count The Chimes plugged home from the tail of the field when beaten five lengths over 1500m at Port Macquarie a week ago and the nation's most winning jockey, Cessnock's Robert Thompson, again takes the mount.
Cracker Night won the race by a length and it is again favoured to win the race after the cup.
"My horse was just outsprinted and this race is the right distance," Stitt said.
He believes the gelding may not be going as good as last year but with the horse being fit it could find this class more to its liking.
Count The Chimes has notched two of its five wins at this track and is such a grinding type over longer distances, unlike most of its opposition.
One that has won at 2000m is four-year-old local gelding Ffrench Rules, trained by Beatrice Godbolt, which has nothing on its back with Port Macquarie apprentice Andrew Adkins, who rode a winning double at Port last week, claiming four kilos.
It likes to bowl along up front and could be hard to run down especially after its good fourth to race rival Nevada Blue over 1812m at Port on April 12, it meeting that winner from the Kris Lees yard at Broadmeadow on much better terms.
Always a chance in this type of race and with a win at the distance at this course is eight-year-old Coffs Harbour gelding Object Of Virtue, trained by Brett Bellamy and to be ridden by Raymond Spokes, which likes the sting out of the ground.
Others with form at the middle distance are Wyong gelding Regallic, trained by Don Robb and Malone from the Kempsey stable of Barry Ratcliff, who had a winning double on his home track on Anzac Day.
The big query galloper is three-year-old Scone filly Bird In The Heather, trained by Paul Messara,which has only had two starts and won over 1600m at Tamworth on April 15.
Two last start winners, Rock 'N'Rich, trained at Port by Neil Godbolt and Sprite Zah, trained on the track by Matthew Robinson, could fight out the XXXX Gold Benchmark 55 Handicap over 1000m.
Rock 'N' Rich has won two races here and scored at Coffs last start whereas Sprite Zah has had all of its three wins here at the distance.
Godbolt said Rock 'N' Rich met low rating gallopers in its last win whereas Robinson believes his gelding is the best galloper in his stable but has erratic manners which can lead to its downfall.
Dangers could be second-up from a spell,Curragh Cailin,trained by Stitt,and Binesi from the Todd Howlett stable at Cessnock.
Curragh Cailin was scratched from Port last week after it cast itself in its stable two days earlier but Stitt said the mare had fully recovered and was well in at the weights.
Four-year-old gelding Cracker Night with four kilos off for Andrew Adkins could prove hard to run down in the Hygain Track Torque Handicap over 1600m although Broadmeadow gelding Unadulterated from the Darren Smith stable at Broadmeadow can improve after being unlucky when third at Port last start in the same race.
Doug Ryan's selections:
Race 1: Time To Excite 1, Licorice Stick 2, Munfasla 3.
Race 2: Felines 1, Sixty Paces 2, Busting Through 3.
Race 3: Who's Next 1, Primus Invictus 2, Tempo Man 3.
Race 4: Spinnaker Blu 1, Burnt Sugar 2, Regarding Henry 3.
Race 5: Count The Chimes 1, Ffrench Rules 2, Object Of Virtue 3.
Race 6: Cracker Night 1, Unadulterated 2, Fun With Indy 3.
Race 7: Rock 'N' Rich 1, Sprite Zah 2, Curragh Cailin 3.