"There will be no excuses if Poco Dorado is beaten this week but she will need to do everything right to beat Tornado Tears,'' says Melinda Finn, whose husband John trains NSW's number one stayer.
Poco Dorado, who has won 12 of 15 Wentworth Park 720m races, has drawn her favourite alley, box eight, in heat one of the Group 1 NSW GBOTA Association Cup.
Tornado Tears, recognised as Australia's best stayer, has earned nearly $629,000 in prizemoney but while he will be making his 720m debut at Wentworth Park he had wide experience of the track in 520m events early in his career.
"I doubt Poco Dorado can beat Tornado Tears unless Little Digger, who has box three, crowds Tornado Tears, who has drawn two, in the early stages,'' Melinda Finn said.
"When Poco Dorado was attempting to get wide from box one at Wentworth Park last Saturday, Little Digger, who had box two, brought her unstuck because he stopped her getting an uninterrupted run up the track.''
Tornado Tears has been freshened up by trainer Robert Britton since finishing second in the Group 1 WA Galaxy final at Perth's Cannington Central on March 23.
"I am happy with his box two draw because Tornado Tears is a 'mental' railer,'' Britton said.
"When he has come undone in his races is when another dog has been in front of him and refused to leave the rails.
"Tornado Tears tends to wait for the inside run and that trait can be costly.
"But he is feeling well and I will be happy to see him qualify for Saturday week's final.''
Adding spice to the first Cup heat is the first Wentworth Park presence of the talented Queenslander Bago Bye Bye, who is chasing his 16th win in 25 starts for trainer Darren Russell.
Bago Bye Bye made his long distance debut over 710m at his latest start, at Brisbane's Albion Park on March 28, and won by a dozen lengths in 41.46sec.
That time compared favorably with the course record, held by Tornado Tears at 41.20sec.
Poco Dorado's litter sister and kennelmate Veloce Nero has drawn perfectly in box one in heat two the Association Cup.
"She could not be boxed better but her brother Blue Moon Rising has drawn poorly in box seven in the same race,'' Melinda Finn said.
Veloce Nero, who won at Wentworth Park last Saturday in a brilliant 41.81, only .01sec wide of her personal best 720m figures, appears to have drawn the weaker of the two Cup heats.
Her toughest rival is likely to be Victoria's Dyna Chancer, who clocked a slick 41.63sec winning over 715m at Sandown on March 14.
Dyna Chancer is new to the Wentworth Park 720m trip but like Tornado Tears, has been well schooled over 520m at Wentworth Park.
First four in each of the two Association Cup heats will qualify for the $75,000 to the winner final over 720m at Wentworth Park on April 20.