Bringelly trainer Barry Fagan usually only keeps a couple in work, so to have El Fuego and Tree Rexx in Sunday's Breeders Challenge Final for three-year-old colts and geldings at Menangle is a career highlight.
The smart pair only arrived at his stable a couple of weeks after a call from owner Frank Brenner, so Fagan doesn't want to take too much credit.
"In fairness, all the work was done before they got to me," Fagan said. "Lizzie Heath had them going really well and I just had to keep them going. I just got the call from the owner and he said he was giving me the horses. I was excited because I have watched El Fuego since he was a young horse and he has always been a nice type. He is the better of the two.
"It has been a big couple of weeks because I have never had horses as good as these two. I was worried about getting into the race, but I'm relieved and excited they are there and I want to enjoy it now.
"I usually only have two in the stable, but at the moment I have five, so it has been a bit hectic."
El Fuego had put three wins on end before joining the Fagan stable and was runner-up in a Breeders Challenge heat before running fifth in the semi-final last week. He has drawn well in gate four for the final and, as is his custom, will charge forward from the mobile.
"He has been to the 2400 metres on a couple of occasions and just not run it right out," Fagan said. "He has natural gate speed and will lead and give them something to chase. He is right at his top and I think he will get it this and can give the others some cheek."
Tree Rexx has only won one of his 16 starts but has been able to work his way into the final through a couple of midfield finishes, including a fourth in his semi-final.
"He is probably not as good as El Fuego but he is only going to get better," Fagan said. "I'm really happy the final is an afternoon meeting because he goes better in sunlight.
"His main problem can be that he gets pulling and beats himself. I am hoping he can get a quiet run back on the pegs and he can come with one last run."
There are six Breeders Challenge Finals at Menangle on Sunday, but stewards have selected the three-year-old colts and geldings event to have runners kept in the retention barn for 48 hours beforehand.
The story Trainer Barry Fagan in rare company with talented duo at Menangle first appeared on The Sydney Morning Herald.