Graham Richardson's explanation of Don Domingo's ordinary form last preparation is enough to have us believe he can win today's $25,000 Lockwood Coastwood Homes Thames Cup.
The once hugely promising stayer raced more like a maiden last season and Richardson says the continual battle with infection the grey suffered was essentially the cause.
The last-start Ellerslie fourth has made Richardson believe Don Domingo could be on the verge of his best form again.
That was just his second run back from a spell and he raced like he might have been one run away. He loomed up likely and battled the last bit.
This race looks ideal.
Because stablemate Single Minded is a true stayer he might not be ideal for a sharp 2000m around Thames, but he represents better class than most of these and if the pace is on his stamina could get him into the thin end of the multiple bets.
A lot of money was poured onto Hot In Pink (No9, R1) in her debut and although she was beaten it was a big effort. A similar effort should get her home in this race.
Only seven runners in Race 2, the R85 sprint, but it's a tricky line-up. The only claimer in the field is Vincent Mangano (No2) who will have his 59.5kg stripped back to 54.4kg by Kei Choing. He is dropping back from the Concorde and the Newmarket and with the weight relief as well he is going to take some beating. Forget Cool Storm's (No4) failure in the Newmarket where she was caught wide and Gaston (No3) is well and truly in the race.
The best value bet in the middle of the programme is Speedy Rocket (No5, R4). She has been freshened and from a lovely barrier she will be very competitive.
Seagold (No6, R5) ended a run of bad luck with a nice win at New Plymouth last start. She is a mare who might go on with that. Belinda's Girl (No10) has not had too much luck and is not the worst in this field.
Pouri Charms (No9, R8) has not raced since a pretty good effort against Southern Lord in group one at Otaki in November. She will run well fresh and her inside barrier is going to be an enormous assist.
At Woodville: No one likes backing 18-start maidens, particularly when nine of those efforts have been minor placings.
But, if Pinocchio Boy (No1, R1) will ever break his maiden status it will be today. The barrier draw is okay and he has a 3kg allowance. Surely it has to be today.
All In Clover (No4, R4) is a value bet. No idea what happened in the Stratford Cup, but she is a useful staying mare who can bounce back quickly.