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The fifth-placegetter in the New Zealand Cup last November is one of three 20m back-markers lining up in the group 3 feature.
Dropping in class from the epic spring battles Buster Brady found himself in means he should not only be hard to beat but he should also be able to move into the race whenever driver Blair Orange chooses.
``He has probably got a bit more respect in that race than in the races he has been in and he is a good beginner, so he will put himself in the race and he will go down trying,'' Orange said.
Buster Brady has had two recent runs after being spelled following the New Zealand Cup carnival, and has impressed Orange with his two fifth placings.
Orange has the Mark Purdon and Natalie Rasmussen-trained More The Better clearly at the top of his list of horses to beat.
``I think he will need the race but I am very happy with him and his trials and I think he can still win it, even off 20m,'' Mark Purdon said on his stable's website.
``He is a class horse as we know and should be forward enough.''
Orange looks a big chance of taking out two of the three group races at Ascot Park.
He drives Destiny Jones, who ran a close second to Bordeaux at Addington last weekend, in the group 3 Southern Lights Trot.
Fellow Canterbury raider Harriet Of Mot looks the horse to beat. Her last-start flop at Addington was put down to suffering a heart fibrillation.
Gore trainer Tony Stratford does not expect his trotter, War Machine's, lack of recent match-fitness to count against him in the Southern Lights.
The 4yr-old had a short spell after running third to in-form race rival Smokey Mac on Invercargill Cup day, January 27.
War Machine usually races well in a fresh state and goes into the race having run a slick last 400m to beat race rival Splash Cola in a trial late last month.
Also in the race, in her first start since the New Zealand Cup carnival, is southern star Dark Horse.
``She's an older mare now and carrying more condition. She might need a run or two to reach her peak,'' her Branxholme trainer-driver, Nathan Williamson, said.