John Thompson has taken confidence from the decision of Nash Rawiller to ride Into The Abyss in the Tibbie Stakes (1400 metres) at Newcastle on Friday when the Randwick trainer tries for a third win in four years in the fillies and mares race.
Thompson will give Best Stone a first crack at stakes level and Into The Abyss another shot in the group 3 race. She was eighth last year when Sweet Deal won for Thompson and Rawiller. Thompson also claimed the event in 2017 with Zanbagh.
Into The Abyss ($19) and Best Stone ($23) are not among the favourites but the race is a wide open affair.
"Obviously Best Stone has been racing with consistency and we just need to try to get her some black-type, whereas Into The Abyss has been a stakes level horse for a while," Thompson said.
"She hasn't got the win, but she's been placed a few times and with every preparation she seems to have got a little bit better."
Into The Abyss has trialed twice for the first-up assignment and has gate eight of 16.
"I reckon she's going better now than ever," he said. "She trialed good behind Quackerjack, a fitter horse who had already had a run.
"She didn't have a jockey for Friday's race and Nash galloped her the other day. He wasn't going to Newcastle, but she galloped really well and he said he'd ride her, so it worked out well."
Best Stone will have to overcome a wide draw in 14.
"It makes it hard but she will go forward and make her own luck," he said.
"I think Into The Abyss is the better chance."
Wandabaa ($5.50) and All Saints' Eve ($6) were battling for favouritism ahead of 2019 Spring Stakes winner Asiago ($7) late on Thursday.
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