POPULAR performer Messini will be out to regain the lead in the Victorian Country Cups Championship when he heads to Ararat on Saturday night.
In what has been an arm wrestle for the top of the table, Messini is in second position behind Shadow Sax.
The pair were locked together on 13 points heading into a Group Two Cup a fortnight ago, with Shadow Sax claiming a point lead after finishing second. Messini was third.
With Shadow Sax bypassing Ararat’s flagship event, Messini has a prime opportunity to move to the head of affairs.
Victory will see the Brent Lilley-trained stallion collect four points, taking his total to 18 – three clear of Shadow Sax.
“The Championship is a great concept which offers a big carrot this season with $25,000 up for grabs,” Lilley said. “Picking up a bonus like that would be terrific for everyone involved with the eventual winner.
“With a bit of luck that will be Messini, so there is more than the standard prizemoney riding on Saturday night.”
To connections’ dismay, the son of Art Major will begin from the outside of the second row, with Lilley referring to the draw as “tricky”.
“It’s a tricky draw on a small but Gavin (Lang, driver) will put him into the race when time is right,” Lilley said. “He’s been racing well all season and I can’t see any reason for that to change.
“His work since his last race has been as solid as ever and I can’t fault him going into this.”