FORMER Nowra trainers Luke and Robert Price hope to fly the local flag at Wollongong's richest race in a fortnight's time.
The Prices' goal is to have two runners, Cuban Royale and Eugene's Pick, contest The Gong at Kembla Grange on November 23.
However, the pair still need to qualify - and their best chance is by saluting at Rosehill this Saturday.
Gelding Cuban Royale will be among the favourites to win the Eden Brae Homes Handicap over 1400m while mare Eugene's Pick will compete in the Ranvet Handicap over 1800m.
"I think they both need to win to get a look in for The Gong, it looks like it's going to be a strong race," Luke Price said.
"They've both drawn good barriers [at Rosehill] and they're both going around with not too heavy weights.
"I think they're both really well placed and should get a look in to win."
Five-year-old Cuban Royale's recent good form includes saluting at Kembla Grange last month while five-year-old mare Eugene's Pick record includes finishing fourth at Royal Randwick in September.
"We've had a good preparation," Price said.
"Cuban Royale in particular couldn't be any better, he's in career best form.
"Eugene's Pick had a drop in grade from a stakes race to benchmark, [racing] up to 1800 metres with no weight on her back.
"I think she will run very well on Saturday."
The $1 million Gong race will be be run over 1600m and is set to be the biggest in Kembla Grange history. Racing NSW is anticipating a crowd of 20,000 people.
It will be a standalone Saturday meeting and will mark the end of the Sydney spring racing carnival.
The Gong will feature some of NSW's top trainers, including Chris Waller, who confirmed to reporters last Saturday that his gelding Asterius will head to Kembla Grange on November 23.
Pat Webster has also declared his group one-winning horse Happy Clapper is a likely start.
Gwenda Markwell's Archedemus is set to lead the charge for local horses. Price said it would mean a lot to have his two runners compete in Wollongong's richest race.
"It's a prestigious race, especially for our locals," he said.
"I don't think the locals will be able to get many horses into the race, but we've got to really support The Gong. It's on our home track, in our backyard.
"I think it's great Racing NSW put on these races.
"We've got to get runners in there because you can compete with the best trainers out there who have the better horses at this stage."