HIGHVIEW Tommy is expected to line up for a tilt at back-to-back Ballarat Pacing Cup titles on Friday, January 25.
The New Zealander caused a boilover in the group 1 event last year, with the 100-1 shot storming home ahead of the boom duo of Sushi Sushi and Smoken Up.
Ballarat and District Trotting Club chief executive officer Paul Rowse said Highview Tommy was likely to be part of a two-pronged attack on the $150,000 cup by leading NZ trainer Mark Purdon.
Purdon is also bringing Auckland Reactor, which was part of a massive Ballarat Pacing Cup night for Purdon last year when he won The Pure Steel, to Victoria.
The Pure Steel signalled a return to top form by Auckland Reactor, which went on to run second in the AG Hunter Cup at Melton and produce three Inter-Dominion Pacing Championship heat victories in Perth before finishing seventh in the final.
Although he has not won since Ballarat, Highview Tommy finished second to new Inter-Dominion favourite Terror To Love in the group 1 NZ Trotting Cup in November his best performance this campaign.
Auckland Reactor is yet to reach any great heights this preparation, but the equine millionaire did manage a fourth to Gold Ace at his latest outing.
Highview Tommy is set to make his first Australian appearance this season in Saturday night’s Bendigo Pacing Cup, with Auckland Reactor also a nomination for the group 2 $50,000 event.
Rowse said now Melton-based New Zealand trainer Tim Butt was also considering starting Mah Sish and reigning Hunter Cup champion Choise Achiever in the Ballarat Pacing Cup.
Choise Achiever finished down the track in the Horsham Pacing Cup on Sunday, while Mah Sish followed up a second in the Victoria Cup with an M1-M2 pace win at Melton.
Butt won the Ballarat Pacing Cup with Stunin Cullen two years ago.
Meanwhile, Rowse is planning another crack at the cup with Decorated Jasper.
The now 10-year-old has had three starts in the race and despite his age is racing in close to career best form.
He followed back-to-back wins at Melton and Ballarat with a luckless fifth to Melpark Major in the Horsham Cup, flashing home from last in the last 200m.
Decorated Jasper goes to the Bendigo Pacing Cup next – a race he won last year.
The Ballarat Pacing Cup will this year launch Harness Racing Victoria’s “AG Hunter Carnival” and headline a 12-race card at Bray Raceway.