Scone combination Rod Northam and Reece Jones hope good draws will help them hit the mark when they take a double shot at the Highway Handicaps on offer at Randwick on Saturday.
Northam has Tango Stepz ($16) in race two and On Time ($11) in the third, both with his three-kilogram claiming apprentice Jones aboard. The races are both 1100-metre class two handicaps for country-trained horses.
As well as the weight drop, the mares have also gained good gates, with one and five respectively.
Tango Stepz. a four-year-old, has won first-up and resumes on Saturday off a solid trial after a seven-month spell. She was a length away when third in a class two Highway Handicap at Randwick in February last year.
"She goes good first-up. She's had a trial and trialled well," Northam said.
"It's just whether she's looking for 1000 rather than 1100. The last 50 metres she could be vulnerable but she's come back well. I'm really happy with her.
"The good barrier will help her. She always jumps well and hopefully a couple work across and she can get onto the back of them and get a bit of luck in the straight.
"I'm confident she's up to that level. I just would have preferred it at 1000, but she's a bit older and stronger now, so I'm hoping she'll be able to run it out strong."
On Time, a lightly raced five-year-old with two wins and two placings in seven starts, tackles a Highway Handicap for the first time.
She was a length away when third at Wellington on resuming on January 11.
"She was third first-up over 1000 and she's a little bit the opposite," Northam said.
"I probably would have preferred a 1200 for her but I've kept her nice and fresh and she's drawn well, and she's tough. She really tries and can put herself in a winning spot.
"They are always difficult races but I'm confident they will both run well and they are both early on in their prep so there's plenty of upside going down to these Highways."
Jones is the leading apprentice in the state with 45.5 wins this season but he is yet to score a metropolitan victory in his career.
He hoped the good barriers for Tango Stepz and On Time would lead to a change in fortune after some close losses in town.
"I'm happy with how things are going. I've just got to keep it going now," Jones said.
"I don't think I've drawn a single-digit barrier in any of the Highways I've been in yet, so it's going to be a good experience and hopefully I can make the most of it.
"I'll probably be off the pace a little bit and they should be running home well."