BEFORE It's Me burst onto the scene with three wins and rapid times, Todd Howlett-trained Two Big Fari was viewed as the best chance to beat favourite Front Page in Saturday's $1.3 million Kosciuszko (1200m) at Randwick.
On Friday, Front Page was scratched after injuries in a float mishap and It's Me was "passed suitable to race" by stewards following blood tests and an endoscopic examination.
It's Me, a $2.20 favourite with the TAB, had been in doubt for the race after mucus was found in a scope on Wednesday.
All the while, Two Big Fari has enjoyed a low-key build up for his Lower Belford trainer.
As short as $7 in early markets, the galloper was $16 despite drawing well in six.
Confident of attracting a slot-holder, Howlett had long planned to produce Two Big Fari first-up for the sprint.
He said nothing had changed his belief in his tough, on-pace runner which has won six of nine career starts and missed a place just once, when fifth in the Country Championship Final (1400m).
"It's Me has done a really good job and come out and won, and mine hasn't raced for a while and it's sort of been forgotten about, but it's good," the Muswellbrook Race Club-based Howlett admitted.
"The price gets better."
Howlett has focused on keeping Two Big Fari fresh and sharp for the 1200m race.
"I think it's all worked well," he said.
"We've given him two trials and I couldn't be happier going into it.
"I know it's probably his toughest test to date, but he's done a good job so far and I'm sure he will again this weekend."
He believed the draw in six was "ideal for him" and he hoped he'd settle close to expected leaders Man Of Peace and Fender.
"Mine is a tough horse, a bit of a bulldog and he likes it up on the speed and a bit of a fight," Howlett said.
"I think he's a horse who wants 1400 to a mile and the thing has been to keep him fresh, and I think it's worked.
"It's no easy race but my horse is a good horse too and I don't know how good yet.
"This will be a good test."
Scone trainer Brett Cavanough holds the strongest hand in the race with It's Me and Fender ($8.50).