If it was a risk, it was a calculated one and certainly paid off for Kembla Grange trainer Theresa Bateup.
Divine Breath was thrown into last Saturday's Midway Handicap as a test of her Four Pillars potential, the new roughly Provincial equivalent of the The Kosciuszko.
And the four-year-old mare showed enough, two lengths behind Four Pillars favourite Different Strokes, trained by Kim Waugh, to secure a place in the $700,000 feature on Golden Eagle day at Rosehill on October 30.
"We knew Different Strokes was the measuring stick, a real genuine contender," Bateup told the Mercury.
"So we took a lot away from that on Saturday, she's only lightly-raced and still got a lot of improvement to come.
"The Four Pillars was a bit of a late announcement, so we nominated horses for it without having the chance to aim them towards the race.
"That run is fantastic for us, now we have three weeks to work her towards it now we're in the field."
Divine Breath is now listed a $21 chance to win the Four Pillars, with Different Strokes favourite at $5 in the TAB all-in market. Brock Ryan will ride Divine Breath in the race, with the boost of claiming two kilograms and coming off recent black-type success with the Robert and Luke Price trained Jamaea in the Furious Stakes.
"Jenny (Duggan) rode her perfectly in the Midway, it was a toss up between the two, but Brock has also been in great form," Bateup said.
"With apprentices claiming he can get down to 51.5kg and hopefully give the race a real shake."
Think about the weather
Kerry Parker is desperate for Randwick to avoid slipping into the Heavy range on Saturday, as his star galloper Think It Over prepares to defend his Group 3 Craven Plate.
It's been a remarkable 12 months for Parker's now six-year-old gelding, including running third in the $1 million The Gong, winning the Group 1 George Ryder Stakes and Group 2 Chelmsford Stakes, as well as taking on the likes of Verry Elleegant and Addeybb.
"As long as it doesn't get too heavy, I'd be a lot happier if the track was getting closer to Good rather than Heavy," Parker told Sky Racing.
Saturday's Kembla Grange meeting was halted after four races due to the state of the track and storms in the region.
Lightning strikes twice for Front Page
Corowa trainer Geoff Duryea has scratched star galloper Front Page from Saturday's rich The Kosciuszko at Randwick, citing a ligament injury to a hind leg.
The stable announced on Twitter shortly after midday Thursday that the joint-topweight for the $1.3 million sprint "has hurt himself and has been scratched from The Kosciuszko. We are broken."
Duryea Racing alluded to last year's injury to Front Page when the gelding was already on the way to Sydney, saying "Does lightning strike twice? Apparently!"
It's also another blow for hundreds of members of Wagga's Farrer Hotel punters club, the slotholder which had teamed up with the Southern District hope for the second year running.
They also had its first choice scratched the first time it drew a slot in 2018.
"Disappointed mate. Disappointed. It's just bad luck. I cannot believe it, our bad luck with (The Kosciuszko)," slotholder manager David Barnhill said. "But that's the way it works. He's had back luck with the horse. It's unfortunate for their syndicate of owners and a bit of bad luck for our punters club. But life goes on."
Racing NSW stewards said Geoff Duryea advised that Front Page was found to have sustained a ligament injury to the near-hind leg.
The slotholders have selected the 2020 Wagga and Moruya Town Plate winner Irish Songs as their replacement.