Trainer Kurt Goldman was already excited about Intuition's chances in the $1.3 million Kosciuszko coming off its excellent final barrier trial, and now he has even more belief due to the form of several other horses emerging from that same hit-out.
Intuition, the six-year-old gelding who is part-owned by Canberra Raiders captain Jarrod Croker, worked home strongly for a 3.1 length third to Gytrash - one of the favourites for the $15 million TAB Everest - in the trial over 1030m at Rosehill late last month.
Since then, the second-placed horse in the trial, Rammstein, fourth-placed Fortress Command and fifth-placed Pale King have all come out and won first-up. Now Intuition is hoping to do the same.
A win by Intuition, which will run in specially-designed Raiders-coloured silks with a percentage of prizemoney earned going to the Ricky Stuart Foundation, would largely be a shock with the horse rated among the outsiders in the market.
But not to Goulburn-based Goldman, who is the majority owner of the horse.
"We all know how good Gytrash is and now the form out of that trial from several other horses has been very strong," Goldman said.
"The trial was a bit of an acid test for Intuition, to see where he was in terms of fitness. I like taking horses to Sydney on a float trip for a run like that - it gets them on their toes a little bit more.
"He gave me everything I was looking for from him that day and I immediately knew exactly what I needed to do with him between then and race-day. He's as good as I can get him for the race and I honestly think he can win."
Goldman took over the training of Intuition in the first half of this year and immediately set him for The Kosciuszko. He gave him two runs in Melbourne in the winter and now the horse will attack the big race fresh.
"I had to learn a bit about him after getting him in the stable," Goldman said.
"Everyone trains a bit differently and after he had those two runs for me I stepped up his work because I thought that was what he needed.
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"I feel he has responded really well to that and the best thing is that you could tell he wanted to do more. The harder he worked, the better he responded."
Goldman will also saddle up Irish Songs in the race. The five-year-old gelding was picked by the last available slot-holder and is also at big odds, but the trainer is bullish about his chances as well.
"Outside of Cav's horse (the Brett Cavanough-trained It's Me, favourite for the race), I see Irish Songs as Intuition's biggest competitor, simply because I know what he's capable of," he said.
"His last-start run against Everest-class horses in The Shorts has brought him on enormously.
"Actually, I couldn't be happier with either of my horses. They're both peaking at the right time."