Sydney trainer Steve Englebrecht is hoping Malavio can deliver him his second title when he lines up in the Group 3 2012 Hawkesbury Cup (1600m) today.
Englebrecht first tasted success in the Hawkesbury feature in 1998 with Referral and believes he has the right horse to bring him further glory.
The Snitzel gelding has won three of 10 starts since being transferred to Englebrecht from Bill Thompson and has placed on two other occasions.
He started the spring in promising fashion when fifth in the Group 2 Shorts before winning the Twin Willows Handicap at Rosehill.
Malavio’s spring took a turn for the worse when he was a well-beaten in 10th late last month at Rosehill but Englebrecht is confident he can return to the winner’s circle today.
“He has worked really well this week, he looks a million dollars and I think he’ll be pretty close to his peak,” Englebrecht said.
The Warwick Farm-based trainer pointed to a big weight (59kg) and unsuitable conditions as reasons for the last-start failure.
The four-year-old gelding will carry 55kg today and is rated a $7.50 chance with bookmaker.com.au.
Gai Waterhouse-trained gelding Kontiki Park heads the market at $4.50 but will have to bounce back from a last-place effort in the Epsom Handicap last month.
Prior to that the seven-year-old had shown promising spring form including a first-up win at Rosehill and a runner-up finish in the Group 3 Tramway Handicap.
Also out to turn around a disappointing Epsom performance is Wild And Proud ($6.50) who was 10th in the Group 1 event after heading into the race on the back of a third-place effort in the Group 3 Bill Ritchie Handicap.