A second Nowra Cup in three years safely in his keeping, Jason Coyle isn't fretting about Scream Machine squeezing into the Stradbroke Handicap (1400m) field on Saturday week.
The Warwick Farm trainer is walking a tightrope with Scream Machine, who produced an eye-catching run when sixth behind Spirit Of Boom in the Group 1 Doomben 10,000 (1350m) on the weekend. First acceptances for the $1.36 million Stradbroke will be taken on Wednesday.
"The whole plan was to get him into a handicap where he's down on the limit and where there will be plenty of speed on," Coyle said.
"That happens in a race like the Stradbroke and they're top horses - but we're not in the middle of a Melbourne spring or Sydney autumn. And he's only two lengths off them in those sort of carnivals.
"I think he will be well placed and it's just a matter of one, getting into the field . . . and two, finding someone who can ride 52½kg or whatever he carries. "To be fair, all it is is conjecture and I can't muck around with [where he sits in the Stradbroke reckoning]. I'll wait to see what number we are [on Wednesday] and then we'll worry about it during the week."
The fallback for Coyle, who floated Scream Machine home after the Doomben 10,000, will be an open handicap race at Rosehill the following week.
"He'll actually fall into that race really well and then after that we can give him a bit of a break," he said.
The plans aren't quite as up in the air for Nowra Cup hero Genki Moochi, who ran his rivals ragged in the $30,000 feature at Archer Racecourse on Sunday.
It meant Coyle and hometown trainer Robert Price have alternated wins in the Nowra Cup for four years.
"I had him as a three-year-old before he went to Hong Kong and thought he was above average," Coyle said.
"He's come back from Hong Kong and we've worked him through his grades.
"Now I might possibly start looking at getting him up there for the Coffs Harbour Cup."