A two-pronged attack is set to give trainer Leanne Gaffney a strong chance of taking out Friday evening's Golden Mile at Spreyton.
Gaffney will saddle up reigning Devonport Cup winner and top weight Newhart in the 1650-metre race, along with another talented five-year-old gelding in Cabarrus, who has won five times from his 13 starts.
Newhart resumed after a 10-month spell in style at Mowbray on November 21, taking out an open handicap over 1400m carrying 59kg, five more than what he won the Cup with.
Gaffney said despite the long break, Newhart ran to expectations and will be directed at another Devonport Cup campaign via Friday's race and the Sheffield Cup later this month, which he ran second in last year.
"We thought he would run well because he'd had a couple of trials and had been doing plenty of work," she said.
"He has a lot of ability and is a nice horse, and while he hadn't had a run for a long time due to the lay-off, he pulled up really well.
"Last year he didn't get a run in this race because he didn't have the rating, but this year he's got the rating, probably too much now, and he'll have a big weight for the Golden Mile because of that,
"But that's what happens when you win.
"He'll go to the Sheffield Cup after this and then to the Devonport Cup, and if everything goes okay, we'll try him over some longer distances."
Cabarrus also comes into Friday's $30,000 feature from the same race as his stablemate, where he ran fifth but had excuses according to Gaffney.
"He was very unlucky in Launceston after running into severe interference and I think he would have fought out the finish with the other horses if that hadn't of occurred," Gaffney said.
"He's pulled up well and has more race fitness than Newhart, and while he's untried over the distances, I don't think it will be any issue.
"He's a big strong horse but the only thing with him is it's all in his mind - he has a different temperament to Newhart."
"You need a bit of luck in racing, but if we get that in the running then both horses should be right in the finish."
The winner of the Golden Mile gains a direct entry into the Devonport Cup.
The main dangers to Newhart and Cabarrus are expected to be the John Blacker-trained Zatacla, who has won two from two over the track and distance, Gee Gee Fiorente for Team Wells and the Rowan Hamer-trained Aspirate, who is yet to miss a placing in his last seven starts at Spreyton.
Gaffney also has two other runners in action on the seven-race card in five-year-old mare Elisavet and four-year-old mare Aragon Star.
"Elisavet is a honest little mare who will race over 1009m just to get her back started and she'll come from behind and be flying home late," Gaffney said.
"Aragon Star is a big strong mare who has been going really well and I think she'll be right in the finish as well."
Friday's meeting commences at 3.30pm, with the Golden Mile at 6.37pm.