Trained in the Hunter Valley by Terry Priest, Old Spice ($11 with Bet365) goes into the series as an underdog, but is currently racing in career best form with three wins from his past five starts, all of which have been at Wentworth Park.
Among those wins was a terrific 29.94 triumph two starts ago, with Priest deciding to have a go at the series following his recent strong efforts.
“I think he is only just learning how to race and how to wait for a run and not just run into the other dogs,” Priest explained.
“It has probably only been at his last five runs where he has started to realise what it is all about so I wanted to have a crack at it with him to see if he could make the step up to the next level.”
A winner of eight from 30, Old Spice will jump from box three in race seven against a handy field including Macnivek (box one), Norm The Storm (box two) and Lady Abigail (box seven).
Despite the line-up, Priest is hopeful that his consistent chaser can hold his own from the favourable draw following a promising trial last week.
“I had to go to Queensland last week for a work meeting so I took the opportunity to trial him at Albion Park and he did quite a few things wrong, but still ran good time.
“His first section was 5.60 and I think he came up with the lids a little bit so he could even have a bit of improvement there and there is not a lot of pace in the race on Thursday.
“Norm The Storm is very strong but on his trial Old Spice has gone quicker than him early, so I would like to think that we will lead him because, to be honest, if he gets in front of us I don’t think we can beat him.
“It will all come down to the start. If he can get out well then he should be right in it.”
The son of Lochinvar Marlow and Takeover Teddy was a personal favourite of Priest’s father, Terry Snr., who sadly passed away before his pride and joy could hit the track.
Fittingly he now races in his memory and is even named after the fragrance which he would always wear.
Win, lose or draw this week, Priest said that it is a very exciting to be racing in a Group 1 series, especially with Old Spice which now holds a special place in the hearts of both him and his mum Denise.
“Mum is thrilled to be in the series and when dad was alive he would always say to have a crack if you think you are good enough.
“We haven’t got any nerves, I am quietly confident that he wont disgrace himself, but we are very excited and just wrapped to have a runner good enough to compete in a Group series.
“Everything happens for a reason so if we get a bit of luck we will certainly be taking it, but if we don’t we wont walk away disappointed because at least we can say we had a crack.
“We need a bit of luck, I am not kidding myself, and we need to be producing a career best run to be competitive – so I am hoping dad can help us out there and give us a little bit of divine intervention.”
Watch Old Spice scoring at Wentworth Park in 29.94.