Jeff Lynds isn't surprised he has the second favourite in Saturday's $300,000 Spring Classic at Hastings - he is just surprised that it is Booming.
Two weeks ago Lynds was feeling quietly confident of his chances of defending the Spring Classic title with Wall Street but that has hit two major snags.
The first is the comeback form of local hero Jimmy Choux, who will start well into red odds on Saturday, but the second is a little more problematic. Wall Street isn't in the Spring Classic any more.
"I decided he wasn't ready for a hard 2040m yet," Lynds told the Herald.
"The way he hit the line behind Jimmy Choux two weeks ago he looks like he needs another mile race before stepping up to 2040m so he will head across to the Toorak in Melbourne next week.
"That is a better lead-up for him to the Cox Plate, which is still our main aim for the spring."
Lynds believes Wall Street can still return to his best for his second Cox Plate tilt but says being a year older he simply needs more work and racing.
"He was bigger starting this season than last season so we will have to miss this week. Still, the Toorak isn't a bad second option."
That decision was probably made easier by the spanking Jimmy Choux gave Wall Street in the Windsor Park Plate two week ago and the fact that Lynds has a serious second stringer in Booming.
While he is still regarded as a topline handicapper, being set for the Caulfield and Melbourne Cups in the next five weeks, Booming emerged as a genuine weight-for-age performer on these shores last season.
He upset Red Ruler in the Zabeel Classic over 2000m at Ellerslie on Boxing Day, stunned punters in the Thorndon Mile at Trentham a month later and pushed Red Ruler close in the International Stakes at Te Rapa.
The 7-year-old showed the required improvement from last first-up over 1400m to run on into fifth in the Windsor Park and Lynds says he is ready to at least give Jimmy Choux a race on Saturday.
"I think Jimmy Choux will be better suited to the 2040m on Saturday because he is on his way to the Cox Plate, whereas my horse has the big staying races as his aim.
"But at his best this horse [Booming] can match it with most weight-for-age horses and if he is in the zone I think he can give them a fright on Saturday."
Bookmakers will be hoping punters believe that, too, as they have been left struggling to find a horse to help balance their book for the Spring Classic, with Lion Tamer and now Wall Street in Melbourne and Mufhasa not being asked to stretch his talents to the 2040m.
That leaves just Booming and Red Ruler as weight-for-age winners among Jimmy Choux's rivals on Saturday, although Hold It Harvey has a group two victory to his name and was fourth in this race last season.
After that the field drops away to handicappers, headed by Auckland Cup winner Titch, in what would be one of the most disappointing fields drawn for the race known for years as the Kelt Capital.
Hence Jimmy Choux's $1.60 final field fixed-odds price after he drew barrier two yesterday in a market where Booming is the $4.50 second elect and Hold It Harvey at $8.
While value will be hard to find in the Classic, the Hawkes Bay Guineas looks a little harder to work out, with Peter McKay providing three chances, including impressive last-start winners Antonio Lombardo and Estrato as well as Quintero. They will clash with the promising Ginner Hart.