Secret Blaze will be out trying at Moonee Valley on Friday night to enhance his hopes of forcing his way into the Caulfield Cup field.
Ballarat trainers Tony and Calvin McEvoy saddle up the six-year-old in the group 3 $200,000 JRA Cup, 2040m.
Secret Blaze is among 72 second acceptors for the Caulfield Cup, but is among 17 yet to pass the first elimination clause.
He will pass the ballot clause if he can finish in in the top three in the JRA Cup. He is in the top three in betting with the Patrick-Payne-trained Defibrillate, and top weight, and Australian Cup winner Homesman.
Secret Blaze should be getting close to making an impact after three starts this preparation, coming off more than a year away from the races.
Secret Blaze will also be much better suited by the trip, having not raced beyond 1400m this campaign.
He missed last spring after finishing second in the group 2 Blamey Stakes, 1600m, at Flemington last year and second in the listed Victoria Cup, 2000m, at Caulfield.
AL GALAYEL is another Ballarat-trained Caulfield Cup hopeful in the JRA Cup as he attempts to make it back-to-back wins in the feature event.
Al Galayel's win in this race last year enabled the Ciaron Maher-David Eustace trained eight-year-old to pass the first elimination clause for this season's Caulfield Cup.
However, he sits 44th in ballot order so needs to improve on that if he is to gain a run.
Al Galayel was in much different form last year, with the JRA Cup completing a hat-trick of wins after scoring at Moonee Valley and Caulfield.
He rounded out last spring in the Ballarat Cup. He resumed in July and has had just the two starts.
GROUP 1 Caulfield Guineas second acceptor Prince Alexander faces his biggest assignment so far for Ballarat trainer Archie Alexander in the group 2 Stutt Stakes, 1600m, at Moonee Valley on Friday night.
The three-year-old colt has stepped up this preparation after making his debut at the Valley in November last year. He has won his past two starts at Bendigo and Sandown Lakeside.
ANOTHER youngster with sights of spring riches Mac 'N' Cheese goes after more black-type success for Tony and Calvin McEvoy in the listed $160,000 Jim Moloney Stakes for three-year-old fillies, 1400m, at Sandown Hillside on Saturday.
Mac 'N' Cheese won the listed Oaklands Stakes, 1400m, at Morphettville in Adelaide and comes off a fourth in the listed Atlantic Jewel at Moonee Valley.
The McEvoys are planning to use this assignment as a lead-in to the likes of the Thousand Guineas.