Paul Murray trained the quinella the last time he had two runners in a feature race and he will be hopeful of emulating the feat in the Listed Rowley Mile (1600m) on Thursday.
After training stablemates Darci’s Affair and Gold Horizon to a one-two finish in the Coffs Harbour Cup earlier this month, Murray will launch another two-pronged attack with the same in-form duo at Hawkesbury.
Darci’s Affair hasn’t had a run since edging out his stablemate in a thrilling finish to the Cup back on August 3 while Gold Horizon finished mid-field at Rosehill Gardens eleven days ago.
Murray expects both runners will have to make another step up to fight out the finish again.
But the trainer was happy with the progress of his pair of seven-year-olds.
“Darcy’s Affair does best when you space he runs and he has done very well since winning that Cup,” Murray said.
“[Long-term partner Michelle Ritchie] said it was like he hadn’t even had a run.
“With Gold Horizon, he is an old war horse. He just keeps going around you know.
“It was a pretty good run in town, but he was just back to the 1500m when he needs a mile.”
Both Murray’s runners are considered outsiders to claim the black type feature.
Darci’s Affair is a $23 TAB fixed odds hope and will be ridden by apprentice Andrew Adkins, with Gold Horizon ($51) set to be piloted by Jon Grisedale.
In-form Gai Waterhouse and Adrian Bott trained four-year-old Arbeitsam ($1.50) is the overwhelming favourite to salute.
“He is definitely the one to beat,” Murray said.
“It’s a nice race.
“You always have a go at them.
“My two are up in the ratings now so you have to look at races like this.”
Murray has had a sensational start to the new season.
The trainer has had six winners and five placings from 16 starters so far.
It includes a double at Moruya on Sunday where Murray’s consistent gelding O’Reilly’s Revenge took out the feature South Coast Registered Clubs Cup (1435m) despite lugging 63.5kgs.
“He had an 11kg difference on some of his rivals so it was a good tough effort,” Murray said.
“He pulled up well last start as well and we decided to send him around again which worked out.””