Beaten only once in his six career starts, Queensland sprinter Uncommon James is back in Melbourne for the Festival Of Racing.
Uncommon James will run first-up in the Group 2 Rubiton Stakes (1100m) at Sandown on Saturday with a view to running in the Group 1 Oakleigh Plate (1100m) at Sandown two weeks later.
The Steven O’Dea and Matthew Hoysted -trained galloper made an impression in Melbourne during the spring when he took out the Listed Regal Roller Stakes (1200m) at Caulfield last August.
That followed wins at Eagle Farm and Doomben while his only defeat was at the Gold Coast on debut.
Uncommon James had his spring curtailed by a fetlock injury which enabled the sprinter to spend eight weeks in the paddock over spring.
Hoysted took Uncommon James to Sandown on Tuesday for a gallop in preparation for Saturday's race.
Teamed with the more experienced stablemate Shooting For Gold, who is Oakleigh Plate bound, Hoysted was delighted with the pair's gallop.
"I thought it was imperative that we come out here this morning," Hoysted said.
"He's still a raw horse, only lightly raced, he's only had the two racing preps so he's still putting it altogether, so we wanted to come out here and give him a look before Saturday.
"He worked with stablemate Shooting For Gold who is a really good benchmark.
"He trialled two weeks ago before coming down, but we have been pretty soft on him since, letting him settle in here.
"He's settled in well and this was his most serious piece of work since arriving in Melbourne.
"He had a little blow after the work, so it should bring him right on and I'm happy with his condition leading into Saturday.
Hoysted said there would be improvement from Uncommon James with Saturday's race under the belt.
He said his second-up form was usually better that his first-up run, but Hoysted added the sprinter was set to run well on Saturday.
"The Oakleigh Plate is our main aim," Hoysted said.
"He was impressive in the Regal Roller, but it is a stronger field on Saturday and he's going to have to measure up there, and if he does, it will give us a bit of confidence leading into the Oakleigh Plate."