A bounce back from a misstep has fuelled the fire that Share The Road can be a contender, with more to learned about what is the peak of the talented mare's powers in Saturday night's star-studded Neatline Homes Shepparton Gold Cup.
Trainer-driver Laura Crossland joined RSN 927's Gait Speed this week ahead of the $60,000 Trots Country Cups Championship leg, fresh from Share The Road running fourth in Sunday's Cobram Pacing Cup.
An early push for the front went array when Share The Road broke gait in the early stages, but the five-year-old Tintin In America mare hit the line well to finish fourth and within 11m of winner Buster Brady.
"Sunday really showed us that she is going to be more than capable of matching it with them better ones, especially in the mares' class," Crossland said.
The learning continues Saturday night at Shepparton in a highlight of the Trots Country Cups season, when she will launch from gate two, inside Grand Circuit winner Let It Ride and TAB Inter Dominion finalists Im Pats Delight, San Carlo and Our Uncle Sam.
"These couple of races over the long trip, I think, will really make her. Saturday night might be a little hard for her, but with luck in running she should be thereabouts.
"It's not every day that you've got a horse that you can nominate for races like this class. It's enjoyable."
Crossland said the focus would then turn to the Ladyship Cup at Tabcorp Park Melton on January 26 - one of four Group 1s on night two of the TAB Summer Of Glory - and then the $200,000 Ladyship Mile at Tabcorp Park Menangle on March 2.
There will also be high stakes off the track at Shepparton on Saturday night with the Finley Football-Netball Club this week's Good Form Grassroots Gold beneficiary.
Good Form tipster Jason Bonnington will be doing his best to put some much-welcomed coin into Finley's coffers with his $500 Game Plan via tab.com.au.
Shepparton Harness Racing Club manager Ian McDonald said Finley would be involved on Saturday and had "always been great supporters of our cup night".
Head to www.trotscountry.com.au for more details about Shepparton's big cup night.
CLICK BELOW TO TUNE INTO GAIT SPEED, INCLUDING LAURA CROSSLAND ON SHARE THE ROAD AND LOCHINVAR ART: