Moruya-trainer Matt Stephens is keen to make history at the Queanbeyan Cup and backed his two-time champion Charlie Royale to do so.
But Joe Cleary isn't happy about it.
Stephens will chase his fourth-straight Queanbeyan Cup (2000 metres) on Sunday with the veteran stayer, who started his winning sequence with back-to-back victories in 2017 and 2018.
No horse has claimed the elusive hat-trick, which is why Stephens has brought Charlie Royale back to the hard Queanbeyan track.
A foot abscess kept him out of last year's edition, but Whispered Prayer kept the team alive and won it anyway for Stephens' stable.
Charlie Royale comes off a third-place showing in Gundagai, with Stephens confident he can improve and create country cup history this weekend.
"I think so, absolutely. He comes into the race absolutely great," Stephens said.
"His last run at Gundagai, on a track that doesn't really suit him, was outstanding. Going out of barrier 10 and he just looks a picture, he's prime for the race. He's a natural on the track.
"There's never been anything wrong with him, he's actually a really sound horse and he loves his work. I was really keen on him setting a record and winning three Queanbeyan Cups. It's history, isn't it?"
Michael Travers returns to the saddle after winning the Queanbeyan Cup twice in a row with Charlie Royale.
They'll need to beat Nick Olive's Pecuniary Interest to capture the hat-trick, while five-year-old Havaduel has won three races for Cleary's stable since changing hands last November.
"I don't want to sound overly confident but I think Charlie has got it all over them, especially on that track," Stephens said.
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"He's won on that track with 60.5-kilograms, and he's done it in 2.02 [minutes]. None of them horses are anywhere close to that, he's just a natural on that track.
"Age hasn't made a difference to him. He's come back stronger than ever. That race the other day at Gundagai just proves what his capabilities are."
A fourth Queanbeyan Cup victory would give Stephens boasting rights over local trainer Cleary, who also has stables in Moruya.
"Joe called me after I won it thrice in a row last year and said 'don't come back,'" Stephens laughed.
"Joe is the greatest sportsman. He's always happy and a great guy to get along with. He's very capable and wins races everywhere. The people working for him are so down to earth as well, such lovely people."
Stephens is also aiming to take out the Class 3 Handicap (1460 metres) with Charlie Royale's little brother, Myboycolly.