Defence Force ($3.60 on TAB) was an impressive winner at Wagga with 61kg and drops 6kg for the feature race.
Hunter, who has been riding for more than four decades, has formed a winning bond with Defence Force having bene aboard the galloper at his past seven starts.
Defence Force, who along with Malabar Jack ($6), Come Get Me ($7.50) and Wynsome Maid ($17) have all won their latest starts, is in peak form.
The five-year-old by former champion racehorse So You Think has been under the care of Delphin this year winning three times at Wodonga (2) and Wagga.
Hunter believes the step up in grade for Defence Force is the biggest query, but she can't fault his recent form.
"He is carrying big weights and racing well so he can't do much more," she said.
The top three weighted horses – Ghost Doctor ($5.50), Major Time ($10) and Halo Warrior ($3.30 favourite) are all early into their racing campaigns and will be ridden by apprentice jockeys to help offset their big weights.
Hunter feels race fitness could assist Defence Force over his main rivals.
"It's not easy stepping up in grade and he only won a Benchmark 58 last start so it's a good test for him," she said.
Hunter is in the twilight of her riding career and has still been able to show her rivals the way home with seven winners from her past 50 rides.
Leading trainer Andrew Dale will start Wynsome Maid who is one of 17 starters he has accepted with. Dale won with Wynsome Maid and his other contender, Malabar Jack, at Narrandera last Saturday.
It will be a later start than normal with the first of seven races to be conducted at 3:25pm on a Heavy 10-rated surface.