Pinyin (Image: Racing Photos)
Jim Conlan has almost forgotten what pre-race confidence is.
His enigmatic sprinting mare Pinyin has made sure of that over the past 12 months.
While clearly talented, the daughter of Wanted boasts a mere two wins from 16 starts, with a further 10 minor placings next to her name when more often than not, she's started favourite or close to it.
If she wasn't already, her run at Sandown last start - Pinyin was sent out the $2.70 favourite and was tailed off last at the top of the straight before rattling home with lightning sectionals to run fourth behind subsequent winner Bless Her - cemented her reputation as a punters' tease.
Despite her history, Conlan admits he's as confident as he's ever been about her winning chances in Saturday's Celebrating Flemington Trainers and Stable Staff Handicap (1200m) at Flemington.
The market currently has the four-year-old installed as the $3.40 favourite, ahead of Our Wind Spirit ($3.80), Orleans Rock ($8) and I'm Telling Ya ($8.50).
"It's been a bit frustrating with her, although with the way she races, she brings her own undoing a lot of the time," Conlan told RSN927.
"But tomorrow, it's as confident as I've ever been going to the races with her.
"She's got the right jockey (Damien Oliver), she's drawn the right barrier, the 1200m up the straight really suits and she's in terrific order.
"I really do think that she'll be very hard to beat."