Robert Thompson joked he would have to ride Three Sheets "twice as good" after the topweight drew the outside gate for Monday's Jungle Juice Cup (1350m) at Cessnock.
Thompson will chase a remarkable 12th Jungle Juice Cup win on his home track, which will hold the Cessnock Cup (2125m) at the same meeting for the first time.
Cessnock trainer Jeremy Sylvester has claimed the Jungle Juice Cup eight times, and he and Thompson were second with Three Sheets in 2016.
With 61 kilograms, the eight-year-old was $15 with TAB Fixed Odds for Monday's race, which had 11 runners.
Thompson said the Paul Perry-trained Sausalito, which beat Three Sheets last start at Taree, and Clare Cunningham's So Bizarre would be hard to beat.
"He's only had one try at the distance and he ran second in that race and didn't run too bad," Thompson said. "The distance is a little bit of a query and he's getting older, but he's had a couple of runs this time in.
"His first run at Newcastle was good over 900m [when second in the Hurricane], and then he was in a pretty hot race in Sydney. Then he ran third at Taree.
"He's got topweight, and he deserves that, but to make it worse he's drawn the outside barrier. He's got the double whammy, so I'll have to ride him twice as good."
Thompson has the John Sprague-trained The Kroc ($7) in the Cessnock Cup - a race the champion jockey has won six times.
"It's not an overly strong race and he will run the distance," he said. "He should be thereabouts."
Thompson won the most recent running of the Cessnock Cup at the track, in 2017, with Invicta. Last year's edition was moved to Newcastle because of the drought-hit Cessnock course.
Rain in September replenished the Cessnock track's dam and saved a repeat of the move this year but Thompson said those reserves were running low.
"It will be hard and fast," he said.
"There's good grass on it, but it will be firm."