Leading Brisbane trainer Tony Gollan is wary his recent Sydney raids haven't gone to plan but is confident it'll be a different story with Antino at Rosehill on Saturday.
Since Gollan won the Group One Coolmore Classic with Krone in the 2021 autumn, he hasn't featured in the placings when he's travelled to Sydney though it's just a sample of 15 runners in two and a half seasons.
So while it's not a significant statistic it's one Gollan would like to correct.
"We haven't had the success we would like, when we travel horses we like them to be competitive,'' Gollan said.
"Skirt The Law was a filly I went there with really high hopes for and unfortunately she pulled up lame, which is disappointing.
"Freedom Rally got down there in a restricted race and got galloped on and raced out of his pattern outside the lead. This horse is handling the travel well, he's been away from home now for nearly three months.
"There'll be no excuses on the weekend, we just want a trouble free run and he will be good enough or he won't."
Antino arrives at the $2 million Five Diamonds (1800m) after four runs in Melbourne for a win and a couple of particularly hard luck stories.
Most notably, his last start second to Prowess in the Group 2 Crystal Mile (1600m) where few would argue he would have won had a run presented a lot earlier than it did.
Regardless, Gollan has been pleased with how Antino has measured up to the top company after emerging in the winter back home, he was narrowly beaten in the Group One Toorak Handicap, and stresses the Five Diamonds is not an afterthought. "It was a very tactical race [at Moonee Valley] and he just got caught on the wrong end of it,'' he said.
"We were always hopeful he could step up to that next level. It took him a couple of weeks to settle into Melbourne and once he got into his rhythm he was really good, he's just been luckless through his prep.
"Overall he's raced terrific at a good level and this is his grand final, we've planned this race the whole time and I'm really happy with him leading into it.
"This was always our favoured option being a set weights and penalties for five-year-olds at I think a distance which is perfect for him."
Gollan said barrier two is a huge plus for Antino, who can step away a shade slowly, and hopes Everest winning jockey Sam Clipperton can hold a position in the first few pairs. "Hopefully we can get a clear run and see where he's at against this grade of horse,'' he said.
"He always steps that little bit slow but you can give him a bit of a squeeze and he can hold a spot. He relaxes quite well after that, I think the low draw is crucial for him in a big field particularly from this start."
If Antino, $2.90 with TAB on Thursday, can snare the Five Diamonds it's likely Gollan will set his sights on the Group One Doncaster Mile (1600m) in April.
He likes the idea of taking a similar approach to his Toorak preparation, and arrive at the mile third-up, and not being a Group One winner as yet expects to be well served at the weights.
"You wouldn't cop a huge penalty for a Doncaster for a race like this,'' he said.
"I'm pretty sure he's effective on most ground, that's always important to factor into an autumn preparation.
"So that's probably where my thought process lies, obviously he's got to improve again.
"We've seen it time and time before, horses after their first trip away it really brings them on and I think we will see the same."