Boom four-year-old Self Assured has been installed as favourite to give New Zealand's All Stars stable a fifth straight $110,000 PETstock Ballarat Pacing Cup on Saturday night.
Self Assured spearheads a dual assault by the champion training partnership of Mark Purdon and Natalie Rasmussen on the group 1 event.
They also have Chase Auckland engaged in a bid to add to the cup wins of Smolda in 2016 and 2017, Heaven Rocks in 2018 and Thefixer last year. Purdon also saluted with Highview Tommy in 2012.
Self Assured is rated a $2.60 chance by tab.com.au ahead of another Kiwi in AGs White Stocks $4.60 and Chase Auckland $5.
The Storm Inside - one of five acceptors (including the emergency) from the Cardigan team of Emma Stewart - is the shortest of the Australian contingent at $6 after drawing barrier two in the capacity field of 12, with one emergency.
Stewart's other runners include last-start Shepparton Cup winner Phoenix Prince, Demon Delight, Tam Major and emergency Somewhere Secret.
Idealsomemagic rounds out the hometown presence as the first Ballarat Cup starter for Beringa trainers AJ and BJ Tindale, and the Michael Stanley-prepared Rackemup Tigerpie, which was second in the race last year.
Self Assured returns to Australia with an outstanding record of eight wins in just 10 starts.
He has been sparingly raced this season. He bypassed the Inter Dominion in NZ, but at his latest outing took out the group 1 Auckland Cup.
Self Assured is unbeaten in four appearances in Australia - all in Queensland, with the sequence culminating in the Queensland Derby.
Self Assured's biggest hurdle is potentially his inside the second row.
NZ's other two visitors AGs White Socks and Chase Auckland each arrive in Australia via appearances in the Inter Dominion final in Auckland when fifth and 10th respectively.
AGs White Socks has since been in the news as the horse champion NZ reinsman Ricky May was driving when he collapsed in the sulky and had to be revived on the track.
2-The Storm Inside
3-Somewhere Secret (emerg)
4-AGs White Socks (NZ)
5-Chase Auckland (NZ)
8-Self Assured (NZ)
11-Our Uncle Sam (NSW)
13-My Field Marshall (NSW)
2.60 Self Assured
4.60 AGs White Socks
5.00 Chase Auckland
6.00 The Storm Inside
11.00 Code Bailey
13.00 Phoenix Prince
15.00 Tam Major
21.00 Demon Delight
21.00 My Field Marshall
26.00 Uncle Sam
81.00 Somewhere Secret
151 Rackemup Tigerpie
The cup barrier draw took place at a breakfast at Ballarat's Bray Raceway on Tuesday, when Harness Racing Victoria also launched the "Summer of Glory" Carnival which continues at Melton on January 25 and February 1.