The Candy Man set to return to best form

Mark Oberhardt
The Candy Man returns to Queensland racing at the Sunshine Coast after a luckless Sydney campaign

Trainer Barry Baldwin believes fan favourite The Candy Man's performance in a recent Sydney campaign is far better than it appears on paper.

Baldwin is confident The Candy Man can return to his best form in the $105,000 Mooloolaba Cup (1600m) at the Sunshine Coast on Saturday.

The Candy Man, who races in the colours of Queensland legend Gunsynd, gained a huge fan following after surviving a life-threatening injury to win seven races in a row.

Baldwin took the striking grey to Sydney for the spring where he was well beaten in four starts.

The trainer said he did not like making excuses for horses but nothing had gone right for The Candy Man in NSW.

"In his first run in the Cameron at Newcastle he got an early bump and was pushed wide," Baldwin said.

"Then in the Epsom he was again deep but his final sectionals were among the best in the race. There were also excuses in the Craven Plate and Rosehill Cup.

"I really think if he had drawn a decent barrier he would have run a place in the Rosehill race.

"In those kinds of races you need things to go right and they didn't."

The Candy Man has been back in Brisbane for a fortnight and been freshened up with swimming and beach work.

"He drew barrier one on Saturday and that might be an omen things are about to change," Baldwin said.

Among The Candy Man's opposition will be Victory Eight with trainer Trevor Miller hoping his home track is an advantage.

Victory Eight was one of the late season finds of the winter carnival and has returned in similar form this campaign.

He has had two runs back from a break at Eagle Farm at unsuitable distances.

Victory Eight came from last to be fifth then worked home strongly four fourth over 1400m.

Miller has been aiming Victory Eight at 1600m feature races in the summer carnival and sees the Mooloolaba Cup as ripe for plucking.

"He has raced well previously at shorter distances but I have always felt that eventually his best distances would be around 1600," he said.

Victory Eight has won eight races, six at the Sunshine Coast.

"He has won at Doomben but he really is a big track horse," Miller said.