John O'Shea's belief that the Sydney three-year-old form is superior to Melbourne's will be put to the test at Caulfield on Sunday.
The Randwick trainer will saddle up Ashokan in the Group Three Guineas Prelude (1400m), the colt one of two Sydney raiders in the feature along with Golden Rose winner Epaulette.
Ashokan finished third in the Group One last start after resuming with a sixth of six to benchmark colt Pierro in the Run To The Rose when he was beaten just over three lengths.
It followed a juvenile season in which he was tested in the best company, managing a Group Three Skyline Stakes victory along the way.
O'Shea expects the experience colts like Ashokan and Epaulette have gained at the top level to prove telling this spring, starting on Sunday.
"The Sydney three-year-olds do look to have the advantage over their Melbourne counterparts," he said.
"The Melbourne three-year-olds seem to be young, progressive horses coming out of restricted company.
"The likes of Pierro, Ashokan and Epaulette have been racing in Group company and in races like the Golden Slipper as two-year-olds, then come back in the spring and raced in Group company.
"They're seasoned campaigners and that stands them in good stead."
Ashokan has drawn the second outside gate in the field of nine for the Guineas Prelude.
O'Shea will be instructing James McDonald to be positive early and he is hoping the Caulfield track plays similarly to the way it did on Underwood Stakes day.
"If you watch Caulfield the other day the fence chopped out late.
"Being a little bit wide at that stage of the day didn't seem a bad thing."
O'Shea sent Ashokan down to Melbourne after the Golden Rose to give him plenty of time to adapt to the reverse direction of racing.
"The horse has been down there for some time and he's galloped at Caulfield," he said.
He is the $5 second pick with TAB fixed odds behind $2.50 favourite Epaulette.