Young trainer Michael Hickmott will saddle up Agarkar in the $175,000 Darwin Cup on Monday if he can draw well in the barriers.
The six-year-old gelding has won seven of his 43 races starts and has accrued more than $130,000 in prize money.
“Agarkar is jumping out of his skin, but the barrier draw could decide his fate because I’m not going to start a horse to just make up the numbers,” Hickmott said.
The 22-year-old trainer has won the Darwin Cup twice before, the first time being with General Market in 2007 and the second being with Activation in 2009.
Unfortunately, Activation suffered a career-ending injury when he came back to defend his title in last year’s Darwin Cup.
“Activation suffered an injury turning out of the straight in last year’s Cup and although he completed the race it ended up being his last start because he has since retired,” Hickmott said.
“I was pretty close to Activation and a lot of hard work went into his Cup win, so it was indeed a sad occasion last year.”
Hickmott first moved to the Northern Territory from South Australia when he was just 18-years-old.
Despite the fact he has recently moved back to his home town, the trainer loves bringing quality stayers up to Darwin for the feature races.
“I deal with clients and owners down south and here in the north, and I will continue to bring horses to the Territory if I think they can win the big staying races,” he said.
“The sprint races don’t appeal to me, but if I have a three-year-old who can win the NT Derby or a stayer who can win either the Darwin or Alice Springs Cups I’ll certainly enter them.”