In-form trainer Juanita McKenzie has great admiration for her consistent pacer Inner Light who will be trying to break a frustrating run of minor placings in Saturday's $12,000 Carrick Cup.
But she also feels a bit sorry for him.
"The poor little bugger has become a bit of a bridesmaid," she said.
"And, it won't be easy turning it around in the Carrick Cup - it's one of the strongest fields I can remember.
The $12,000 race has attracted a star-studded lineup, with Inner Light sure to get tough opposition from the likes of Izaha, El Jays Mystery, Buster William, Sea Double Ugrant, Dasher Houli and Im Compliant.
"But he's a good beginner and Ricky (Duggan) will give him every chance," McKenzie said.
"He always runs a good race and it helps when you've got the best driver.'
McKenzie, whose recent wins include the Devonport Cup with Isaac, has been training Inner Light for about 18 months for NSW owners.
But, after winning nine races last season, the five-year-old has had to settle for minor placings at all five starts this campaign including a third in the St Marys Cup, second in the New Norfolk Cup and second in the Devonport Cup.
He was runner-up again at Mowbray last week behind El Jays Mystery.
While Inner Light appeared to have every chance in that race, McKenzie was very happy with his performance.
"They went 1:58.8 for the 2200m and that's the quickest he's ever gone," she said.
As always, the Carrick Cup meeting will be a bumper day even though it's a travesty that it is non-TAB.
There will be a celebrity pony race featuring Hobart Cup-winning trainer Barry Campbell, double-seater sulky race, polocrosse exhibition and fashions on the field.
The Tasmanian Harness Yearling Sale will be held between the last two races.
The meeting will be broadcast on 103.7FM and 96.5FM in the Launceston area and punters can also tune in online at cityparkradio.com.
Star Tasmanian four-year-old Ignatius has again drawn poorly in the $200,000 Chariots Of Fire at Menangle on Saturday night.
After drawing barriers 10 and 9 in his two lead-up races, the James Rattray-trained gelding will come out of barrier 8 if the emergencies don't get a run.
The horse that he beat last week, Chase Auckland, has drawn the pole and heads the tab.com.au market at $2.50 with Ignatius at $3.
However Chase Auckland's trainer Mark Purdon concedes that "Ignatius is the best horse in the race."
The winner is an automatic inclusion in the $1 million Miracle Mile on March 2.