More than a race
The Coffs Harbour trainer is still struggling to come to terms with the sudden death of his beloved wife Trish, 65, late last month.
"If she (Fair Game) could win, I'll dedicate the win to Trish," Hardy said.
"It would be our first big win since she died.
"Trish absolutely loved her racing, loved the horses and it's tough without her being here.
"I'm trying to push on but it's taking me a long time to get over it. I know there isn't a lot we can do but her
death was just so sudden, that's the really hard part.
"She said goodbye to go down to the club with a friend, 15 minutes later she was dead.
"I sometimes still walk around the house and say something, yell out to her, then realise she's not there.
"I know she'd want me to keep going. That's what I'm trying to do."
Trish Hardy was also like a second mother to former top apprentices Zac Purton and Glen Colless who were both indentured to Hardy.
Fair Game, who finished a narrow second to the Neil Godbolt-trained So The Cat Said in last year's Kempsey Cup has been placed at her past four starts.
She is part-owned by businessmen Graham Fitzgerald and Greg Bailey and Hardy believes the five-year-old is racing as well as she was 12 months ago.
"I've trained for Graham for over 25 years. He and his wife were good mates with Trish," Hardy said.
"I think Fair Game is going as good as last year. So The Cat Said got her in the last stride last year."
Last year's winner So The Cat Said will again be among Fair Game's rivals today but Godbolt has warned the gelding missed a crucial lead-up run.
"So The Cat Said missed a start at Port Macquarie three weeks back when the meeting was washed out and the aim was always to go into the Kempsey Cup second-up, the same as last year," Godbolt said.
"The horse is well in himself and he'll run a nice race but missing that run is a concern."
Sky Biscuit is the 61.5kg topweight for the 1450m race but is dropping back sharply in distance from the 2600m of the Chairman's Handicap in which he was runner-up to subsequent Sydney Cup winner No Wine No Song.