Owner Ross Williams is confident Archedemus will enjoy a happy homecoming when he returns to Kembla Grange on Saturday.
Formerly trained by Gwenda Markwell, the gelding spent the autumn with Joe Pride before a move to Team Hawkes in recent months.
The spring campaign has been aimed at this weekend's $1 million The Gong, Archedemus claiming two placings at Listed level in three starts this preparation.
The seven-year-old is considered by many an outside chance of victory, currently at $41 on TAB fixed odds. But with just 52 kilograms on his back, Williams is expecting a top-three finish on Saturday.
"It's a tough test this one," Williams said. "It's probably a much stronger Gong than last year.
"He's capable of finishing in the top three. If everything goes his way, there's no reason why he can't be there.
"He'll be peaking for this race. The class is good but a lot of these horses have their peak behind them.
"We are coming into it at our peak after three runs this prep.
"We were aiming for this race from the start. We weren't worried about a second or third in previous races, those results have given us a light weight."
Archedemus hit the front early in last week's Ladies Day Cup, fighting on well down the straight before he was passed by winner Black On Gold.
It's a strategy new jockey Jay Ford will look to replicate in The Gong, the gelding to benefit from a wide gate.
"I don't think the barrier matters," Williams said. "He's going to get to the front. I'm disappointed not to have Koby Jennings on him, he rode him well last start.
"Jay is one of the few who can carry 52kg. He rides well, so if he gets to the front with ease, without having to ask too much for it, which the horse does on his own, I'm confident he'll be top three."
Archedemus enjoyed regular success during his time under Markwell's care, winning the 2019 group 3 Hawkesbury Cup and the Listed Members' Handicap at Doomben.
Since then, the relationship between trainer and owner has deteriorated.
Derby winner Angel Of Truth was moved to Team Hawkes after a string of disappointing performances, while September's group 3 Tibbie Stakes was Electric Girl's final run under Markwell's care. The mare is now trained by Nathan Doyle.
That looked to be the end of the pair's partnership, communication between the two almost non-existent.
The duo have repaired their relationship in recent weeks, Librarian returning to Kembla Grange after a tie-back procedure. Gemmahra will also travel back to the Illawarra in the coming weeks to work with Markwell.
"She has provided a lot of success for me in the past, I couldn't not give her a horse. At the same time, it won't be as many, simply because I don't feel I get the attention when I have so many horses with one trainer.
"I like to spread my horses around, give the trainer an opportunity and try to fit the horses to the trainers I think suit them."