Newcastle trainer Jason Deamer says Bon Amis has put an ill-timed virus behind him and is back to his best ahead of the $1 million Hunter.
The six-year-old stable star has been carefully managed since his last-start third in the Group Three Show County at Randwick on August 24.
Deamer had originally intended to run the son of Bon Hoffa in the Sydney Stakes in mid-October but was forced to abandon that plan.
The local trainer insists Bon Amis has bounced back well from the virus, returning to work after two weeks off and trialling a fortnight ago in the lead-up to Saturday's inaugural race.
"He's alright," Deamer told AAP on Wednesday.
"I'm not confident of winning, but I'm confident the horse is nearly at the best I can have him for this race.
Deamer is satisfied the gelding will have no qualms running the trip, having never won beyond 1100m and only racing twice past 1200m.
"He ran second here at Newcastle over 1400 metres in the Provincial Championship heat," he said.
"He should have won.
"And then he ran at the Provincial Championship at Randwick and was caught four or five wide and finished fifth. Not a bad effort."
To be ridden by Jason Collett, Deamer was pleased with the "perfect" draw of barrier six but believes the on-pacer could benefit by moving further inside with possible scratchings among the 15 starters.
"Jason will just come out on him and just try to help him relax," he said.
"With the draw, he won't have to do any work. I couldn't hope for a better barrier."
When The Hunter was launched in June, Deamer started setting Bon Amis for it at the owners' request and he's now revelling in the pre-race buzz around town while trying to keep the title on home soil.
"As soon as the owners heard about it, they were like 'any chance we can run in that?'," he said.
"We sort of started to see how we could get him ready for the race.
"Things haven't gone 100 per cent to plan, but other than that I'm very happy with him."
Bon Amis was on the third line of TAB betting at $8.50 on Wednesday, with Kris Lees' Graff ($3.50) and Snowden Racing's Brave Song ($7) rated the top hopes.