FORMER Nowra trainer Robert Price expects four-year-old gelding Spectre is still a top chance for the Summer Provincial Series final, after "making a goose of himself" at Wyong.
Spectre ran third in the Kembla Grange heat to qualify for the series final to run at Gosford on December 27.
He followed it up with a fading ninth in a Class 4, after being hard ridden and wide on the turn at Wyong.
But Price said played up from the moment he left the float and was quick to forget the run.
"He made a goose of himself," Price said.
"He lost his mind, he was never going to win the race, carrying on like a pork chop.
"You could see by the dry sweat on his coat in the parade he had already run his race."
Price will now look at running at Goulburn a week before the Provincial Series final.
The Testa Rossa gelding ran two lengths fourth to Dr Drill in an 1800m Benchmark 78 at Randwick in July, who has since gone on to win a Benchmark 88 and the Cranbourne Cup, as well as jumping favourite in the Ballarat Cup.
He made a goose of himselfRob Price
"He's a city class horse," Price said of Spectre.
"But he's just one who has his favourite track and had a good experience at Goulburn before, so we might end up in the set-weight handicap there. So we've just got to get his mind right before the final."
Theresa Bateup has nominated the Kembla Grange Summer Provincial Series heat runner-up Golly I'm Lucky - behind Gwenda Markwell's Esteem Spirit - for the Kensington twilight meeting on Friday.
However, she is considering heading to Hawkesbury on Sunday week instead, to time the run 12 days before the final.
"There aren't many options for him, so it sort of had to be one of the other, but we might end up at Hawkesbury," she said.
"I was really impressed with the Kembla run, he had some ground to make up, but Gwenda has a really nice horse there."
The Kembla Grange heat was run over 1400m, but Bateup has few fears about stepping up to the mile in the Gosford final.
"I think he'll be fine with it," she said.
"Especially in a big field final, you'll expect some tempo in the race and be able to get a run late. I would have preferred to be going to a bigger track like Newcastle or Kembla though."
After Hawkesbury on Sunday, the last Summer Provincial Series heat is at Wyong on December 19.
Meanwhile, a quick back-up in city class company will be the perfect test for Winter In America's autumn prospects, trainer Rob Price believes.
The four-year-old mare was an impressive two-length winner at $41 in Saturday's Class 1 Handicap over 1200m and Price was keen to capitalise on her finding form, after a frustrating preparation where she ran fourth in three of her four previous runs.
While she has the lowest benchmark rating of the 15 nominated horses, Price said Winter In America had a bit of class about her.
"She's a real Rolls Royce type to look at," he said.
"She's recovered super, so there'll be no disadvantage about backing her up on Saturday.
"We've had some breathing issues with her, but seem to have that sorted out now and it was a great run at Kembla, so this will give us a good indication of where she's at.
"I certainly think she can progress through the grades."
Winter In America now has two wins and two seconds from 10 career starts.