TEMPLE Of Boom's climb up the Australian ladder reaches a pinnacle on Saturday when he enters the Newmarket Handicap (1200m) cauldron at Flemington.
Temple Of Boom ($26) will be one of five Queenslanders lining up in the 23-horse field, headed by early $3.20 favourite Hay List.
The news proved mixed for Temple Of Boom after yesterday's Newmarket draw, but trainer Tony Gollan is confident the five-year-old retains enough pluses to be in the finish firing line on Saturday.
Gollan was looking for a rain-affected track and outside draw for Temple Of Boom when he chases his fourth win on the Flemington straight course.
The track was yesterday rated dead with a forecast for "fine" weather while the gelding drew the centre of the field in barrier 11.
"Eleven's okay but we would have preferred to have drawn wider where he has run his best races at Flemington," Gollan said.
"But hopefully he can get a smother up and the right sort of luck to have a late dash at them.
"It's an extra good field and a lot of the experienced trainers down here are saying it's like an old-fashioned Newmarket.
"I'm sure it will be a great race and I'm sure the best sprinter under the conditions will win.
"Unless Hay List pulls out something special, it's virtually anyone's race and I'm not discounting ourselves.
"Our horse is in terrific order and ready to acquit himself well.
"We had no false hopes in the Lightning and this race has always been his target."