Life member and chief executive officer Peter DeVries has declared this is the best field ever seen at Kembla Grange.
The provincial racing nursery has seen plenty of Group 1 winners and unearthed emerging superstars, but DeVries marvels at the depth and talent in Saturday's $1 million The Gong.
In saddle cloth order, defending champion Mister Sea Wolf, Olmedo, Cascadian, Rock, Best Of Days, Brandenburg, Dawn Passage, Nettoyer, Positive Peace, Purple Sector, Archedemus and Asiago are Group level winners.
That's 12 of the 16 horse field which jumps at 4.45pm on Saturday.
"I think that's the best field I've seen at this racecourse and I've been here an awful long time," DeVries said.
"There are 12 that have won black-type (Group or Listed level races) and I started to count how many races they had been placed and I lost count. That makes it a good field."
DeVries expects a crowd of between 1500-2000 on track as part of the Covid-19 social distancing rules, but while the crowd will be smaller than last year's inaugural running, he says it is still an important stride forward for the event.
In particular, The Gong has helped attracted a new generation of racing fan.
"Extending the spring carnival, it's also looked at the younger demographic," DeVries said.
"I got interested in horse racing because my father took me, we would like to encourage that."
De Vries admits he will be cheering on Godolphin runner Asiago in The Gong on Saturday, given it already holds the Group 3 Kembla Grange Classic title.
Asiago then claimed the Listed Mona Lisa (1350m) at Wyong, before producing a fast-finishing third in the 1300m The Hunter.
After the completion of the Polytrack training surface, De Vries confirmed work on the inside track, as part of a major upgrade of the course, will begin "early next year" before looking ahead to redeveloping the main turf.
Kembla Grange has struggled with a number of abandoned meetings in recent years due to heavy rainfall.