Hunter bred and owned Bright Energy will carry local hopes from gate five in the group 1 $100,000 Newcastle Mile on Friday night.
Twenty-one nominations were received for the race on Monday morning.
Newcastle track record-holder Balraj and in-form 11-year-old Don Boston were the unlucky emergencies when the 10-horse field for the Miracle Mile qualifier was later declared.
Bright Energy is owned and was bred by Maitland's Michael Elder and was formerly trained at Louth Park by Darren Elder before leg injuries prompted a move to Cobbity Equine Farm.
Under trainer Craig Cross, Bright Energy has won seven of 10 starts, including a group 3 at Menangle on January 11. He was also a close second in the group 1 NSW Breeders Challenge final for four-year-olds last June.
Micheal's nephew, Brad, will take the drive in the Newcastle Mile, which will also feature 2018 champion and former track record-holder Majordan from gate eight.
The Kevin Pizzuto-trained gelding smashed the Newcastle track standard with a time of 1:51.4 when winning the race, which was a group 3 until elevated last year.
Balraj, now with trainer KerryAnn Morris, broke that record and is unbeaten at Newcastle. The four-year-old went a track record 1:50.9 at Newcastle last July before setting a new three-year-old Australasian benchmark of 1:49:1 at Menangle.
However, he finished well back in the Chariots of Fire qualifiers, the Paleface Adios and Hondo Grattan Stakes, and missed a start in the Newcastle Mile on ratings.
Veteran Brad Abbott-trained wonder Don Boston is second emergency. He has won three of four starts at Newcastle and five of his past six anywhere.
Roy Roots jnr-trained The Black Prince, which has gate three, is a starter with close ties to Newcastle. The 2018 Newcastle horse of the year was trained at Keinbah before Roots jnr's recent move to the Central Coast.
The Paul Court-trained Hail Christian, which won back-to-back group 3s at Menangle late last year, has gate two. Two-time group 1 winner Let It Ride, for Tim Butt, gained the No.1 draw.
Newcastle Mile field:
1. Let It Ride (Tim Butt/Anthony Butt)
2. Hail Christian (Paul Court/Blake Fitzpatrick)
3. The Black Prince (Roy Roots jnr/Tom Ison)
4. Mattgregor (Chantal Turpin/Pete McMullen)
5. Bright Energy (Craig Cross/Brad Elder)
6. Wrangler (Craig Cross/Luke McCarthy)
7. Don Boston (Em 2) (Brad Abbott)
8. Majordan (Kevin Pizzuto/Todd McCarthy)
9. Balraj (Em 1) (KerryAnn Morris/Robert Morris)
10. Little Rascal (Craig Cross/Luke McCarthy)
11. Maraetai (James Rattray)
12. Pay Me Sam (Paul Fitzpatrick/Gavin Fitzpatrick).