Theresa Bateup may have found the horse to defend her Bega Cup crown, River Charge impressing on the Sapphire Coast on Sunday.
The four-year-old took out the 1600 metres Tathra Cup in dominant fashion, the Kembla Grange trainer considering returning to the track on January 31 to chase the showcase event.
Stable star Monegal took out this year's Bega Cup, the mare going on to win in the city in June.
A talented gelding, Bateup is confident River Charge can follow a similar path to Sydney.
"It is a race I've always had in the back of my mind for him," Bateup said of the Bega Cup.
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"He'll have to take a few steps up before he gets there and we'll find another race in between for him. That will determine whether we're here in the big one at the end of next month."
The victory came on a successful day for the trainer, Bateup winning four races at the South Coast track.
Halliday Road opened her account in a 1000m benchmark 58 before Alan held on late to claim a 1200m maiden.
Yote Amo Maria then capped the afternoon by taking out a 1400m maiden, jockey Jess Taylor riding her third winner of the day for the trainer.
"I've had some good days down here where I've had three winners, where I've brought seven down and had three winners and four placings, but never quite cracked it for the four.
"This is a special day and a good way to end the year."