MISS Scorcher is ready to lock horns in a speed duel with exciting Brad Widdup mare Adelong in Saturday's Rosehill showdown, trainer Graeme Murray has declared.
Conjola product Murray handed Miss Scorcher a month-long freshen-up after failing to handle the genuinely Heavy conditions in the Wagga Town Plate, but returns in town for a Benchmark 78 over 1100m.
Listed at $31 on Thursday, the four-year-old mare has drawn barrier five, with Adelong in gate three, meaning they'll be eye-balling each other for the lead.
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Adelong ($2.90 favourite) continues to impress as she rises through the ranks, breaking the heart of the well-backed Lashes a fortnight ago.
"She's at the back-end of her campaign, but the freshen up will help, she is ready to take them on," Murray said.
"She just didn't handle the ground at Wagga, so hopefully we'll see (Rosehill) dry out into the Soft range and it will give her a chance.
"It's the right kind of race for her at this stage, she has certainly progressed very nicely."
However, Adelong and Miss Scorcher will likely have company in the early battle for the lead, with Gerald Ryan gelding Mansa Musa and Kris Lees mare Agent Pippa hunting up early, as well as I Am A Cool Kid and Nictock.
Miss Scorcher had qualified for the Wagga Town Plate with a powerful BM 88 win in the Prelude last month and has five wins from 18 starts for $154,860 in prizemoney.
But all the talk pre-race will be about Adelong and just whether she can take a giant leap towards black-type racing, having won four of her six career starts, with two second placings.
Murray, meanwhile, has Flash Fibian returning to Kembla Grange on Saturday, after being swamped late while leading over 1200m, eventually finishing fifth behind Brett Lazzarini's Nindamos.
Back to 1000m, Murray is optimistic Kembla Grange, rated a Heavy 10 on Thursday, will be dry enough to defy a record of eight starts without placing when the sting is out of the track.
"He definitely needs a drier track, but he's racing well," Murray said. "It was a good run last start, they just got him at the end, so back to 1000m he should be competitive."
Lazzarini takes Nindamos and the resuming Bye See to Rosehill for a BM78 over 1300m on Saturday.
Nindamos drew barrier nine with Sam Clipperton aboard and Bye See barrier three, to be ridden by Andrew Adkins.