State Of Rest at Werribee (Image: Racing Photos)
The Vintage Crop barn at the Werribee International Quarantine Centre consists of just two horses this year and while Gold Trip has been ruled out of Saturday's Cox Plate, things have gone much more smoothly for his Joseph O'Brien-trained companion State Of Rest.
"So far it's gone smoothly, he would have done his last bit of a canter there today and MJ who rides him every day is very happy with him the way he's moved, the way he's worked," travelling foreman Mark Power said.
"We think he's very, very fit and we are ready for tomorrow."
Unlike his international counterpart, O'Brien and his team have opted not to introduce the last-start Saratoga Derby winner to The Valley circuit until race day and the same goes for rider John Allen, who will have his first sit aboard the four-year-old on Saturday.
"We keep him in his routine here, he does his canters here, if that changes if MJ reports or if we think we think he might need a day away or it would benefit him, we would do that," explained Power.
"But he was very fit coming here, so we've just had to do a lot of maintenance work with him and then Johnny Allen is going to have his first sit aboard him on Saturday.
"He is a fairly straightforward ride, uncomplicated, and we like to keep the routine the same by keeping the same riders aboard if we can."
With up to 20mm of rainfall forecast across the second half of Friday and into Saturday, the stable is confident the son of Starspangledbanner can adapt to changing conditions and an outsider barrier.
"He would probably prefer a Good track, he's proven himself that he will probably handle an ease in the ground," Power said.
"Last year as a two-year-old he ran well back home in Naas and ran creditably in Doncaster on Soft ground, so I don't think it's going to pose too much of an issue.
"Barrier eight is fairly straightforward, what's inside him might go forward and I don't think it should be too complicated, but I think Johnny is going to go through that with Joseph today."
Power is no stranger to success in Melbourne and says another win with fellow Irishman Allen in one of the country's feature races would be a big thrill.
"We've had a little bit of success before with Downdraft when Johnny was aboard him for OTI Racing, so that was great, so it would great to strike up another win again," he said.
"We've had success down here before thank God, some great trips, a couple of Melbourne Cups and we're in a good place now for tomorrow.
"They will all be tuned in back home at the yard so it will be fantastic.
"It's a race that has always been on his (O'Brien's) agenda I think, it's one of those big international races that you love to compete in.
"So to have a horse come here with such a live chance is brilliant."
State Of Rest is a $10 chance with Sportsbet in the Cox Plate.