Top Newcastle trainer Kris Lees will have at least seven nominations in his hunt for a breakthrough home-town cup win on Friday.
The $200,000 Newcastle Gold Cup (2300 metres) will headline a bumper program also featuring two other group 3 races - the Cameron Handicap (1500m) and Tibbie Stakes (1400m).
Nominations for the meeting close on Monday but Lees had already entered 2019-20 Newcastle horse of the year Raheen House, The Metropolitan favourite Mugatoo, Mustajeer, Aliferous, Korcho, Big Duke and 2019 runner-up Attention Run for the Cup.
Newcastle trainer Paul Perry had nominated The Getaway and Nothing Too Hard, while top Sydney trainer Chris Waller had 2018 winner Carzoff, Herengawe, The Lord Mayor and Norway among the 17 entries.
Defending champion Hush Writer, from the Gai Waterhouse-Adrian Bott stable, and Wyong Cup winner Paths Of Glory (Richard and Michael Freedman) are other likely nominations.
Lees-trained mare Miss Fabulass has been entered for the Cameron Handicap and Tibbie Stakes. Regimental Band, Stella Sea Sun, Wandabaa and Game Of Thorns are others from the stable in the Tibbie.
The fillies and mares feature could also have Kosciuszko runner Its Me from the yard of Scone trainer Brett Cavanough.
Randwick trainer John Thompson will look for a third win in four years in the event after entering Best Stone and Into The Abyss. He won with Zanbagh (2017) and Sweet Deal (2019).
Newcastle Spring Stakes 2019 winner Asiago was among Godolphin's entries for the Tibbie, which could also feature the Brad Widdup-trained Icebath.
In the Cameron Handicap, Lees has Crystal Mile champion Chief Ironside, veteran three-time group 1 winner Le Romain and potentially Special Reward as entries.
Special Reward was fourth after being held up for a run in the group 2 Theo Marks Stakes (1300m) at Rosehill on Saturday.
Waller had Kubrick and Nudge in Cameron nominations, while The Candy Man was expected to also enter.
The Hurricane Handicap (900m) has been moved from the Saturday Ladies Day program to the feature-filled Friday meeting this year. Scone trainer Stephen Jones said Akasaki would be back to defending his title.
On Sunday, Zaunkonig gave young Scone trainer Will Freedman victory in the $100,000 Dubbo Gold Cup (1600m).
With Alysha Collet aboard, Zaunkonig travelled just behind the leader before taking over at the 200m mark and hanging on late for a half-length win.
It was the son of prominent trainer Richard Freedman's ninth starter and second winner since beginning his career last month. Zaunkonig, an eight-year-old, came from the Richard and Michael Freedman stables.
"Sometimes a change of scenery can be a new lease on life for these horses," William told Sky Thoroughbred Central. "He lives in the paddock now and he's just a happy horse."
AAP on Saturday: Queensland raider Rothfire has upstaged Sydney's best colts to win The Run To The Rose as Farnan flopped after bolting on jockey Hugh Bowman.
Bowman and co-trainer Adrian Bott were hauled into the stewards room over tactics on the Golden Slipper winner, who raced to a runaway lead and punctured in the straight.
Bowman said when Jim Byrne on Rothfire showed no interest in going to the front he took up the running on Farnan.
"I didn't want to lead immediately. I waited five or six strides and I could see Jim wasn't intent on leading so I thought I would cross and when I did and showed my hand, he took hold straight away," Bowman said.
"Unfortunately my horse being first-up he reacted ... and just took off basically."
Bowman told stewards he "didn't want to go that quick, obviously" but once the horse started to stride he had to go with him.
"I was trying to judge it the best I could. It is not like driving a car and putting the breaks on if you go too fast. It's not that simple," Bowman said.
"I understand you have sectional times and obviously horses can't sustain the pace he was going and that's why he finished the way he did."
Bott agreed that once Farnan took hold of the bridle there was little Bowman could do.
"Once he has made a decision to make use of the horse, once he got running it is very hard to stop him," Bott said.
Farnan finished fifth and almost four lengths from Rothfire, who was dominant to score by 1-1/2 lengths from Ole Kirk with his Hawkes Racing stablemate North Pacific another length away.
Rothfire's trainer Rob Heathcote was not on course but stable representative Mel Sharpe, who travelled the world with star sprinter Buffering, said the three-year-old continued to deliver.
"This little horse, he just keeps defying all the odds and taking that next step," Sharpe said.
"He is an absolute gem. He's a real dude, not much fazes him.
"Rob had a really good, lengthy chat with Jimmy (Byrne) prior to coming to the races today and we always said if Farnan wants to cross us let him and we'll just sit in behind him, don't expose him and have him where he's happy."
Rothfire will remain in Sydney to target the Golden Rose in two weeks and next month's The Everest, in which he holds the miRunners slot.
Alligator Blood, another of Queensland's star horses, made his return at Doomben on Saturday and was doing his best work late for third to The Odyssey over an unsuitable sprint trip.
The Group One Epsom Handicap is on the Team Hawkes radar after Wild Planet bounced back from a luckless first up run to claim the Theo Marks Stakes at Rosehill.
Co-trainer Michael Hawkes admitted to a few anxious moments turning for home before Tommy Berry got Wild Planet into the clear.
The honest gelding chased hard to wear down favourite Funstar by a long neck with Ranier another length in arrears.
"There was a little bit of deja vu there when he got locked up coming around the corner," Hawkes said.
"You've got to give this horse credit, he really fights hard.
"He's in the Epsom and that's the way we're heading with him at this stage."
Wild Planet's win was a bright spot for Team Hawkes in Sydney after odds-on favourite Masked Crusader endured a tough run when third to Fituese in the Vale Rick Worthington Handicap.
They also had the settle for the minor placings in The Run To The Rose with Ole Kirk and North Pacific finishing behind Queesland gun Rothfire.
However, the stable ended the day with a two-state feature race double when Doubtland won the Danehill Stakes at Flemington.
Chris Waller was satisfied with the effort of Funstar after she was caught wide early and said she would be spot-on for the Epsom Handicap next month.
"She didn't have the perfect run. She was three-wide without cover and she was left wanting the last 100 and she will improve significantly with the run," Waller said.
"She would be close to our top seed in the Epsom."
There will be no Golden Rose start for Mo'unga but the lightly-raced colt has stamped himself as a star of the future in the eyes of his trainer Chris Waller.
Stepping up to Saturday stakes grade after wins at the Gold Coast and Newcastle, Mo'ungo justified his $2.70 favouritism and maintained his unbeaten record when he pounced late in the Listed Dulcify Stakes (1500m) at Rosehill.
A usually measured Waller was lavish in his praise of the three-year-old but said he won't be pushing him too far too soon, ruling out a Golden Rose start.
"He's not seasoned enough for that type of racing just yet in my opinion but gee, he is going to be something very special to look forward to," Waller said.
"The plan was always the Spring Champion. I think he's got a great future and we don't need to bottom him out too quickly.
"They were decent horses he was racing against. He got back from his wide draw and settled, bided his time and came through them like a real professional."
Mo'unga firmed from a $6 equal favourite into outright $2.80 top pick for next month's Spring Champion Stakes (2000m).
He is likely to have a final lead-up run in the Gloaming Stakes (1800m) in two weeks.
Waller was also impressed with the return of Global Quest, who is set to tackle the Golden Rose en route to the Caulfield Guineas in Melbourne.
"He went terrific. Had Mo'unga not been there he wins the race," Waller said.
Ridden by James McDonald, Mo'unga scored by 1-1/2 lengths over Global Quest with Jet Propulsion another short neck away.
James McDonald touted Haut Brion Her as an Everest candidate during the week and Chris Waller did nothing to dispel that theory after the mare 's Group Two Sheraco Stakes win.
Having her first start since she pulled up lame following a Flemington victory last spring, Haut Brion Her showed her quality to defeat a smart field of mares.
After racing on the speed throughout, Haut Brion Her ($6.50) held on to beat Jen Rules ($31) by three-quarters of a length with Seasons ($18) another neck away.
Favourite Fasika finished eighth after briefly mounting a challenge in the straight.
Waller said Haut Brion Her would take significant improvement from Saturday's 1200m race and would not be out of her depth in The Everest.
"Where she fits into The Everest picture I'm not sure. We might as well get them talking," Waller said.
"She had to do it hard early and still showed a great turn of foot and was able to maintain that momentum all the way to the finish in a good field."
Waller was unsure where Haut Brion Her would run next but said the Golden Pendant at Rosehill in two weeks was a possibility.