TAMWORTH trainer Sue Grills believes Burning Crown "lost no friends" despite finishing second behind Lil Al at Scone on Monday.
Leading for much of the 1000m race, Burning Crown was swamped in the last 100 metres to go on to finish second.
However, Grills said the finish wouldn't have affected the four-year-old's chances of earning a berth in this year's 1.3 million The Kosciuszko.
"He was first-up after a spell and without a trial, so I was pretty happy with the run," Grills told the Leader.
"We had an apprentice riding him [Yvette Lewis], who isn't so good with the whip just yet, that's why she didn't use it at all.
"Still, I think for him to run like that without the whip is pretty impressive."
Grills said she remains confident Burning Crown could feature in the October 19 showpiece event.
"The tickets were drawn on Tuesday, so now will have to wait and see," she said
"I think he would be a good choice, because we still have a few weeks to go and there is still plenty of improvement for him to make."
Burning Crown is not Grills' only hope of featuring in The Kosciuszko.
Six-year-old Atilla is also in contention for the prestigious event.
"Attila has really flown under the radar, in my opinion," Grills said.
"He's in pretty good form at the moment and would really be in the mix if he was given the opportunity.
"He won the Kirby at Grafton, so he can certainly stand up in these marquee kind of races."