ECKLIN South trainer Marg Lee can make it two country cup victories in a fortnight when Keayang Cullen chases Hamilton Pacing Cup glory tomorrow.
Keayang Cullen will start from the second row in the $25,000 feature over 2660 metres and will have respected driver Glen Craven in the sulky.
Lee and Craven, her nephew, combined to win the $60,000 Horsham Pacing Cup with Keayang Steamer last weekend, setting a new track mile record of 1.59.80.
They head to Hamilton confident their other stable star, Keayang Cullen, can replicate the success.
The six-year-old enters the race after three encouraging runs, finishing no worse than fourth since December 14.
The results come almost 12 months after he won the $25,000 Terang Pacing Cup and ran 11th in the $750,000 Inter Dominion final.
“He’s come back a bit stronger but it’s a standing start. It’s a first for him being off 10 metres,” Lee said.
“He’s a chance but as I say, being off 10 metres, traffic in front of him, it depends on how we get away and what run we get through.
“You just don’t know what’s going to happen in front of you. The horse is going good, the rest is up to the driver Glen.
“He drove a beauty last time at Melton when Bitobliss got us on the line. We got through from the second row.”
Lee said Keayang Cullen would use the Hamilton Pacing Cup to qualify for the $400,000 Hunter Cup over 3280 metres at Melton on February 1.
Keayang Steamer is also bound for the Hunter Cup, a standing-start race, but will qualify via a race at Shepparton next weekend.
Horses must have completed a standing-start race satisfactorily before being eligible for the lucrative cup.
Both horses also have the Inter Dominion, one of the feature events on the Australian harness racing calendar, on their radars.
A field of 13 horses will contest the Hamilton Pacing Cup, which also acts as a leg of the Victorian Country Cup Championship.
The race is at the mercy of the Manning family trainers, who have three horses carrying the stable hopes.
Peter Manning has Garabaldi Union and Narra Operative, while his daughter Kerryn Manning will start Kickittochris.
Other chances include the Paul Rowse-trained Savesomtimetodream, the winner of the Gunbower and Yarra Valley cups. Stawell Cup winner Arber and the Peter Tonkin-trained Village of Dreams, which won the 2011 Nyah and Boort cups, also have claims.
The cup is race seven on the program, at 4.54pm.