HE has already proven himself at Group 1 level, but can Our Uncle Sam stand and deliver in the rich New Zealand Trotting Cup?
That is the question Bathurst trainer Chris Frisby is asking himself ahead of next Tuesday's NZ$750,000 feature.
The annual New Zealand Trotting Cup, to be staged at Christchurch's Addington Raceway, is considered to be the country's most prestigious harness race.
As such it has drawn a quality field, including defending champion Thefixer and current favourite Spankem. But it is the fact the Group 1 Free For All has a standing start, rather than Our Uncle Sam's rivals, which has Frisby nervous.
His six-year-old has had two warm up races on New Zealand soil from standing starts and neither have seen Our Uncle Sam show the sort of form which saw him win the Group 1 Bohemia Crystal Free For All earlier this year.
He placed eighth in a field of 10 at Ashburton and last at Kaikoura after breaking.
"He's never done a stand standing start, we don't have them in Australia. Years ago we used to have a few of them with a handicapping system, Free For Alls for the older horses, which I think was a good idea. You could handicap them better, a horse like Our Uncle Sam could give them 30-40 metres," Frisby said.
"I've got another bloke driving him because Anthony [Frisby] said to put someone on him who has been driving in these standing start races all the time. It's just a very hard race to drive in, so I put Mark Jones on him."
At Wednesday's barrier draw Our Uncle Sam was handed four and while that is favourable, again Frisby feels the way his runner gets off the line will be more telling.
"I hope the draw works out, it's hard to tell because we've never had a standing start," he said.
"We drew one the other day [at Kaikoura] and that didn't help us, I think he looked around and thought there was a red thing on his back and shied and jumped away from it.
"It's all up to that start with him, but the good thing is that it's over 3,200 metres, so the start isn't that crucial. Well it is crucial, but as long as we don't miss it by 30 metres, he should be in it."
The New Zealand Trotting Cup will start at at 3.12pm (AEDST) on Tuesday.