Matthew Dale star Man Of Peace has joined fellow Canberra sprinter Handle The Truth on the third line of Kosciuszko betting markets after notching a superb third-straight Sydney win on Saturday.
And returning Joe Cleary mare Girls Are Ready emerged as another possible local contender in October's $1.3m race after proving too strong in the Highway Handicap at a soggy Randwick.
Jockey Louise Day shot straight to the lead aboard Man Of Peace and steered the eight-year-old to the outside fence before holding off last year's Australian Derby winner Angel Of Truth.
Dale said it was the horse's toughest test this preparation.
"It was a genuine black type style of race, albeit they were resuming on wet tracks," Dale said.
"He's strong on speed and strong late holding off a Group One winner. He was still floating a bit down the outside fence he was still a bit lost out there by himself but once Angel Of Truth came at him he surged late.
"He's just a genuine old campaigner that's lifting in confidence and in a rich vein of form."
Dale said he would see how the veteran galloper pulled up before deciding just how to navigate the two months leading into the Kosciuszko.
"There's plenty of ways we can do it, it's just a matter of looking at all options and seeing what the horse tells us during the week," Dale said.
"We'll just work out whether he has a little freshen now, might have a trial and go straight into a Kosciuszko or whether he has one more race. There's no rush to make a decision.
"Once the tickets come out it's a matter of being A in the market, which he well and truly is, and B a bit of promotion et cetera and the best promotion is winning races.
"He's three in a row now in Sydney Saturday races against genuine black type horses. That's the best way to put your hand up."
MORE CANBERRA SPORT
Earlier in the day, Queanbeyan mare Girls Are Ready surged from near the rear of the field to stamp herself as a genuine Kosciuszko option for prospective ticket holders.
"I might back off on her over the next couple of weeks and really focus on the Kosciuszko, she'd be a huge chance based on that run," Cleary said.
"She's a three-time winner in Sydney now, she's won four races, three have been in the metropolitan area, handles wet tracks and loves Randwick."
Keith Dryden's Handle The Truth won last year's inaugural running of the Kosciuszko, and is on track to try and defend his title this year.
Fourteen country horses will contest the Kosciuszko, with the drawing of sweepstakes tickets to determine each available slot to be held on September 9.
Slot owners can nominate a horse to run in the race, after negotiating how prizemoney will be split with current owners.
The race will be run on October 17, alongside the Everest.