In-form Warrnambool trainer Tom Dabernig hopes Maatsuyker can make the jump from a maiden victory at Mount Gambier to metropolitan racing at Flemington on Saturday.
Maatsuyker lines up in a $130,000 three-year-old race over 2000 metres at the famous racecourse after scoring a six-length win in a maiden over 1817 metres at Mount Gambier last month.
"It's a big jump from a maiden at Mount Gambier to running at Flemington," Dabernig told The Standard. "We're having a real throw at the stumps with Maatsuyker.
"I think he'll like the step-up to 2000 metres - to be honest I think he's crying out for the 2000 metres. He's bred to get out in distance.
"Maatsuyker is very fit. I can't fault his condition after his Mount win. We've only led him off the pony at home since his win."
Young jockey Harry Grace, who rode Maatsuyker to win at Mount Gambier has been booked for the ride on Saturday.
"Harry's got a great understanding of Maatsuyker," Dabernig said. "He's ridden the horse in his five starts which is a great bonus.
"Maatsuyker jumps in class but he drops three kilograms in weight on his last run which is an advantage."
Bookmakers rate Maatsuyker as a $21 chance in the early betting markets.
Dabernig trained Peidra to win the last race at Sandown on Wednesday.
Fellow Warrnambool trainers Lindsey Smith, Matthew Williams, Daniel Bowman and Symon Wilde also have runners at Flemington.
Smith saddles up Kissinger and Great Again. Mystery Shot and Tuvalu are emergencies for Smith in a heat of the winter championships while Belle Tiara, Liberty Magnate and Harbour Views make up Williams runners.
Begood Toya Mother is Bowman's representative and Wilde accepted with four-year-old Mask Up.
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