Premier Newcastle trainer Kris Lees believes a heavy Randwick track will give consistent performer Wandabaa a genuine chance of breaking her run of narrow losses when she contests the Bob Charley AO Stakes (1100 metres) on Saturday.
Wandabaa, now a four-year-old, has not won since taking out a fillies and mares benchmark 88 handicap at Rosehill over 1200m on a heavy 9 surface in August last year.
However, she has been placed seven times since, including an impressive second to Adelong last start at Randwick on May 29 over 1100m on soft ground.
Wandabaa was taking ground off the winner late to go down by three-quarters of a length.
Lees said that run and the likelihood of wetter ground pointed to a strong performance from Wandabaa in the listed feature.
"Now she's got to that higher level, it's harder to win," Lees said of the long run of outs.
"But she's racing just as good and she hasn't been beaten far either.
"Her biggest plus tomorrow will be the wet track, which definitely plays into her favour."
Lees' apprentice Louise Day, who was aboard for Wandabaa's most recent win and again for the last-start effort, has the ride again.
Scratchings have brought Wandabaa into gate four and she was a $4.20 favourite with the TAB on Friday.
She was one of three Lees-trained runners in the field on Friday but Tactical Advantage was likely to be scratched.
Lees' other runner was stable newcomer Countofmontecristo. The seven-year-old gelding has had three trials for Lees and will be making his Australian debut.
"He's come from racing in Singapore and he's had a break out at our farm," Lees said.
"He'll find the trip a little short for him I'd expect, but he seems to be coming up nicely for the preparation."
Enchanted Heart was among the scratchings in the Bob Charley.
She will race instead in the benchmark 94 handicap over 1300m and is another ride for Day, who can use her two-kilogram claim.
The four-year-old mare was sixth behind Adelong and Wandabaa last start and was an $8 hope for Saturday.
"She loves the wet as well," Lees said.
"I just think the 1300 is her more appropriate distance now.
"She's deeper into her prep and it probably looked the softer of the options for her."
Lees also has Azarmin in race five, Sixties Groove in the sixth and Yabadabadoo, another making an Australian debut after coming from Singapore, in the last.
"Azarmin is another one who loves the wet," he said.
"Whether she's up to Saturday grade, we'll find out.
"Yabadabadoo is another that will be better deeper into their prep."