For the first time in her near-perfect career Adore Me has given her trainer reason for concern.
However, that disappeared quickly after Mark Purdon took the freakish filly for a spin at the Motukarara trials on Monday, suggesting it will be business as usual when she resumes at Addington tomorrow.
On a night when four group ones will be held at Alexandra Park, racing fans will shift focus for at least a few minutes as the champion filly returns as a likely $1.02 favourite.
Adore Me has won seven of her eight starts, with her only defeat coming when second to Ohoka Punter in a superstar Woodlands Northern Derby in March.
While her body of work is not significant enough to declare her one of our best-ever pacing fillies yet, her peak performances have been as good as any 3-year-old produced in New Zealand.
Which caused Purdon a slight headache recently, as he worried about tomorrow's race being abandoned, especially as it is Adore Me's last chance for a lead-up to next week's Nevele R Fillies Final. "I thought she might scare the opposition away but they got a field and it looks the perfect lead-up for her."
Purdon says that hasn't been his only concern as he was interested to see how Adore Me overcame her Derby run, especially as it came just a week after she bolted away with the Northern Oaks also over 2700m.
"You always have that concern in the back of your mind with a filly but she has come through it superbly well.
"She had a few days off with a very minor issue a few weeks ago but she is really ready to go now.
"I drove her myself at the trials on Monday and she felt great."
Victory tomorrow night should ensure Adore Me opens around a $1.30 favourite with the futures' markets for the June 1 Harness Jewels which are released next week.
She could provide Purdon with a high-class fillies' double tomorrow night as Te Amo Bromac looks to establish herself as our best juvenile pacing filly in the $170,000 Sires' Championship at Alexandra Park.
She was a brave second in the corresponding race last Friday and gets a better barrier draw here, although so, too, does Venus Serena, who looks of similar ability, albeit more of a stayer without Te Amo Bromac's speed.
"She actually missed a trial leading into last week but has thrived since and she could be a better filly on Friday," says Purdon.
Purdon holds out no such confidence in the Rowe Cup and Messenger Championship, where he is in the unusual position of having outsiders in Best Deal Yet and Cyclone U Bolt as his representatives.
Christen Me has opened the $1.20 favourite for the Messenger, which has been reduced to seven starters after Easy On The Eye joined Excel Stride as a scratching.