Country Cups specialist Gottino is continuing to try his luck in the big smoke with new trainer Dan O'Sullivan convinced the six-year-old is up to a metropolitan level of racing.
Under the guidance of part-owner and trainer Ken Moore, Gottino has cut a swathe through country Victoria races during the last 12 months winning a swag of Cups, including the Ararat Gold Cup.
But with a city win proving elusive, Moore has had to hand over the training to O'Sullivan following arm surgery.
O'Sullivan paid tribute to Moore's training and especially his placing of Gottino, saying he did a terrific job.
Gottino's next city assignment is the $100,000 Zouki Western Health Cup (2000m) at Flemington on Saturday.
"I've always had this in mind for him," said O'Sullivan.
"I think he has been looking for 2000 metre-plus distances as he has got older."
Since O'Sullivan took over Gottino's training, the gelding has run fourth at Moonee Valley behind Lord Wimble and sixth last week behind Lord Durante at Caulfield.
"I have no doubt he is up to city class with both those runs being worthy," O'Sullivan said.
"There should be no excuses for him because this race is the right distance."
His belief that Gottino, a $17 chance behind the $2.70 favourite Electric Fusion, has got what it takes was confirmed when Glen Boss, who rode the son of Johar at Moonee Valley, agreed to ride him again on Saturday.
"Glen was happy to stick with him so that showed me the horse has the ability," O'Sullivan said.
Gottino's next race after Saturday is shaping up as the Listed Bagot Handicap (2800m) at Flemington on New Year's Day.