If anyone is well-placed to give a strong and balanced judgment of Wednesday night's $67,000 group 2 Warrnambool Cup field it's legendary local breeder Barry Smith.
The Greyhound Racing Victoria hall of famer and owner of the Jeff Britton-trained Mepunga Mustang said it was an impressive field of dogs.
"He's (Mepunga Mustang) had about eight runs there for seven wins and a placing so he loves the track (at Warrnambool)," he said.
"I think the box suits him in eight but it is a tremendous field of greyhounds in this race.
"We're there with an equal chance as anyone else, but it'll be a fantastic race for people to witness.
"It'll be lovely if I can snare the local cup, but there is seven very, very good dogs in the field."
Wednesday's weather forecast predicts some rain, which Smith says could even things up on the track.
"It'll give all the dogs an equal chance, but it won't worry him (Mepunga Mustang), he's a great chaser wet or dry," he said.
"He's given us a lot of thrills."
Mepunga Mustang was the fastest of eight heat winners last Thursday night at Warrnambool in a blistering 24.93 seconds across the 450m, raising hopes there will be a locally owned winner for the first time since 1999 when the Kevin Mugavin-trained Honcho Classic won.
But he will face stiff competition from Lara-based favourite Ferdinand Boy, trained by David Geall, who will be chasing a fourth country cup title.
"Normally in a race like this you get two dogs going into the corner together and then the others behind, but there could be up to six dogs going hard up to that corner," Smith said.
"Our bloke has the ability but so does all the other seven."
Warrnambool Cup 2022 field:
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