Talenti winning at The Valley (Image: Racing Photos)
Robert Hickmott and Damien Oliver will combine with two of the most promising horses set to race at Flemington on Saturday, with one destined to be exported to Hong Kong and the other no chance.
Bumper Blast runs in a Benchmark 84 handicap over 1400 metres while Talenti also races at that handicap level over 1800m.
Talenti is a four-year-old gedling by Niagara that's won both starts in Australia since joining Hickmott from New Zealand trainer Grant Cullen, swooping from last in small fields over 1500m at The Valley.
The ease of Talenti's victories has prompted interest from buyers in Hong Kong with speculated seven-figure offers available to sell abroad.
"There's offers obviously from Hong Kong and if he won on Saturday I don't think we'd have him in the stable again," Hickmott said.
"But the horse is raced by owner-breeders and they've done a great job to send him over here and hopefully they can reap the rewards with another win and then the sale price for Hong Kong."
Talenti faces a significant step-up in class this weekend, rising from Benchmark 64 level.
"But the 7.5kg weight drop will be advantageous for him, especially going to Flemington for the first time," Hickmott said.
Meanwhile stablemate Bumper Blast has won twice from four attempts and is raced by the Hong Kong-based David Price. The Ocean Park four-year-old gelding was set to race in Hong Kong before failing a mandatory pre-export vet test due to a throat condition.
Bumper Blast won the Off The Track Subzero Handicap (1400m) at Flemington during Melbourne Cup Week, before finishing fifth to Kaplumpich in a Benchmark 78 handicap (1600m) at Ballarat on November 23.
"He got out of his ground a hell of a lot and the tempo wasn't there with 60kg, a lot of things just went against him," Hickmott said.
"On face value he looked a bit disappointing but if you summed up the race there was merit in it.
"We've freshened him up for the step back to 1400 metres. He worked over 1000 metres on Tuesday morning, quickening up his final 600 metres and was very sharp.
"That freshen up has done him a lot of good. I think he'll bounce back to his best and hopefully get a low draw."