SHE is one of the oldest runners in the race, but Port Macquarie trainer Matt McCudden knows when it comes to horse racing you've got to be in it to win it.
That belief is no different especially when it comes to the 2021 Queen of the North feature race which will be run at Port Macquarie on January 22.
McCudden is not only the trainer of seven-year-old bay mare and local hope Secrets No More, he's also the single owner.
He's confident the "old girl" will run well.
"They all cracked jokes when I bought her because they said that I was adding to the retirement home," he said.
"But she's racing as well as ever this preparation so I can't knock anything she's doing at the moment. She might be able to add a nice little trophy to the mantelpiece."
On offer is $60,000 for the winner and McCudden says she has been improving in every race she has gone in recently.
While she will be a rank outsider with the bookies, the trainer is comfortable trying to go under the radar.
"When you're the outsider of the field you can sometimes sneak under the radar a bit, but she's probably deservedly an outsider," he said.
"She tries hard, but I still think she can run a good race."
In her last start at Tuncurry on January 16, Secrets No More ran a respectable third after a strong fifth-place showing at Port Macquarie on January 8.
Every now and then she is capable of springing an upset as was seen at Coffs Harbour when she saluted on October 31 last year.
On that occasion she was fifth-favourite with the bookmakers.
"I own her myself outright and she's just like a little toy to me really," McCudden said.
"I just play around and race her where I want and when I want without the outside noise."
If Secrets No More was to finish first past the post, McCudden admitted there would be plenty of celebrating.
"$60,000 would be handy and I might go missing for a week if she can lob but we'll see what happens," he said.
"Even if she can run in the top five or six it's still good prizemoney so fingers crossed we can get a bit of luck.
"We thought we'd have a shot at the stumps and see what happens."