After five years in the racing wilderness, Peter Cornish is back in business.
The Clergate-based trainer will contest his first cup since 2013, with Athena's Voice lining up in Sunday's Cowra Lamb Cowra Cup, just a year after Wrong Bias marked his return to the course.
He said the time off was a breath of fresh air after a lifetime in racing.
"I'm as fresh as an old fella can get," Cornish said, laughing.
"I've come back a bit stale but I've been training since 1984, I was born into it and it's all I've known all my life.
"I was kind of born into the game, but it's good to freshen the mind and your routine."
Wrong Bias and Athena's Voice are the two horses in action for Cornish, who's rebuilding his stable after moving premises and throwing himself into running his business over the past half-decade.
"It's good to be back, I always wanted to be back in it."
You can never get overconfident but she's never run a bad race in her careerClergate trainer Peter Cornish
He rates Athena's Voice as a red-hot chance in the 1700m feature, which will include the Darren Hyde-trained Mr Epic, Kody Nestor's Dad's Boy and Mackellar's Love, which is trained by Cheryl Crockett.
"Mr Epic beat us at Bathurst but it's a very even field, you think seven or eight of those horses including us could win it," Cornish said.
"She's doing everything right, I took her out last week and she came back and wouldn't have blown out a candle.
"I couldn't be happier with her."
He said the extra 100m would suit Athena's Voice after two runs in third and fourth at Dubbo and Bathurst over 1600m respectively.
"She's a real staying type, we're aiming her more at cups," Cornish said.
"We've had her since October and had the two runs with a bit of a look and she came fourth in a good run at Dubbo and third in the Benchmark 66.
"You can never get overconfident but she's never run a bad race in her career."
He said training feels as natural as ever, even if he was a bit rusty jumping back in in 2018 and with some techniques changing and modernising.
"Feed a bit different now, more scientific, and we use the walking machine now which I never did beforehand - not that there's too many wet days to use it on," he said.
"I'm ready to jump back into it."
Racing begins at 1.10pm on Sunday, with the Cowra Cup jumping at 4.45pm.
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