It took trainer Clayton Chipperfield only one look at Catalyst for him to know the superstar three-year-old is ready for prime time.
And the good news for New Zealand racing fans is his next start could be against the older horses in the Telegraph at Trentham next month as the first step on his path towards the A$5 million All Star Mile in Melbourne.
Catalyst returned to Chipperfield's Te Awamutu stable on Monday a far bigger boy than the one who was so breathtaking winning the 2000 Guineas at Riccarton last month, a victory which capped a stunning arrivals on the spring racing scene.
"He put on 38kg in 21 days of spelling," says Chipperfield.
"He has come back looking great. He went out at 460kg and is almost touching 500kg now.
"Obviously that will come down as he gets fit but I am confident he can race about 475kg this campaign because he is definitely filled out. And that should help him."
Chipperfield and The Oaks boss Rick Williams have all but finalised the Australian campaign for Catalyst which now includes the second ever running of the All Star Mile at Caulfield on March 14.
The ASM field is partially decided by public vote for 10 spots with five wild card entries and this year New Zealand race fans will get to vote, with the one-month voting period starting January 16.
Melody Belle and Te Akau Shark have also been nominated for the ASM and after her huge performances at the spring carnival Melody Belle is certain to get a slot whereas Catalyst is far lesser known to the Australian public.
Te Akau Shark, who has a cult following on both sides of the Tasman, is also nominated for the All Star Mile but whether he will be aimed at it or target NSW next campaign has yet to be decided.
Catalyst will get all of February to impress the Aussies with his team planning three starts in Australia before the A$5m mile.
"After Rick and I spoke about it we are looking at two races in Aussie before the Caulfield Guineas, which is his first main target there," says Chipperfield.
"And all going well we will then look at the All Star Mile.
"Hopefully his form will get him in but it is also great people here can vote on who gets into the race because we would love to be there."
Before he crosses the Tasman, Catalyst could take on the likes of Bostonian and two-time champ Enzo's Lad in the $250,000 Telegraph at Trentham on January 18.
"That is one option to get us ready for Australia and of course it is a great race too," says Chipperfield.
"We won't make that decision for a while, at least the end of the month, and he might just go to a trial at Matamata four days earlier [January 14].
"But we have thrown in a nomination for the Telegraph and he gets in with 55kg at weight-for-age so it is a definite option."
With a bigger, more experienced Catalyst to work with, Chipperfield is excited about what the next few months might hold.
"It is pretty different from where I was at this time last year," he says with a laugh.
"But we would love him to show the Australians how good he is and looking at him, I think he has to be a better horse this time in," enthuses Chipperfield.
• January 18, Trentham: $250,000 Telegraph (group one, wfa, 1200m) (not confirmed).
• February 1, Caulfield: A$160,000 Manfred Stakes (group three 3yos, 1200m).
• February 15, Flemington: A$160,000 C S Hayes Stakes (group three 3yos), 1400m.
• February 29, Flemington: A$1million Australian Guineas (group one 3-y-os, 1600m).
• March 14, Caulfield: A$5 million All Star Mile (wfa, 1600m).