Nulkaba trainer Clayton Harmey's Fire And Sword edged into the group 1 Gold Chalice final with a gritty finish to come second in heats on Monday at Bathurst.
Fire And Sword, a $26 hope with TAB, settled last in heat four of five and came four wide on the home turn to battle it out with Rock Fisherman for second behind runaway winner Mach Dan.
The pair were neck and neck down the straight before Fire And Sword lifted late to take second place by a half-head and a spot in Saturday night's $100,000 final for three-year-old colts and geldings.
Barrier draws for the group 1 Bathurst finals are on Tuesday afternoon.
On Tuesday, Harmey turns his attention to Menangle, where last-start Newcastle winner and 2019 Chalice place-getter Straddie races in a lead-in to the Wagga 4YO championship next month.
Meanwhile, Harness Racing Victoria and Harness Racing NSW announced jointly that racing would continue in the midst of the coronavirus pandemic but from Monday they would not accept interstate nominations, and no interstate trainers or drivers were permitted at race meetings.