Stern Idol will carry a weight that has not been carried to Brierly Steeplechase victory in 85 years on Tuesday, but trainer Ciaron Maher is confident he is up to the task.

The imported fencer as 73kg topweight in the $175,000 event over 3450 metres on Day 1 of the Warrnambool May Racing Carnival.

Some Are Bent, who won the Brierly under 71kg in 2010, is the only horse to carry more than 69kg to victory in the metric era, while a horse hasn't won under at last 73kg since Deckard won with 11 stone 12 ounces – or 75.5kg – in 1939.

Stern Idol has won a swag of feature races since coming to Australia in 2022, including a second-straight J E H Spencer Memorial Steeplechase under 72kg at his final Warrnambool lead-up, and Maher has confidence in his weight-carrying ability.

"You win the races, you get the weight," Maher said.

"He's a big horse. I don't think it will worry him."

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Agricolo holds the Brierly Steeplechase weight-carrying record, having won under 12 stone 7 (79.5kg) in 1927.

Stern Idol's last-start Pakenham win was by 2-1/2 lengths, 12-1/2 lengths fewer than the previous year, but his winning time of 4:06.17 was more than three seconds faster than his previous best time over the Pakenham 3500m.

"He's spot on, it was a great hit out the other day, he ran a quicker time that he's run there over fences," Maher said.

"He's come on well and he's holding good condition."

After winning last year's Spencer Steeplechase, Stern Idol went straight to the Grand Annual Steeplechase at Warrnambool, in which he failed to finish, and while Maher has again accepted for that 5500m test on Thursday, his 2024 campaign has been geared around the Brierly.

"The Annual is there and we haven't ruled that out yet," Maher said.

"He was 'on the chewy' (pulling in his races) last year, he seems more relaxed this year, but the Brierly is his target."

Stern Idol is an odds-on favourite for the Brierly Steeplechase, in which he will be ridden by Willie McCarthy.