The trainer of the favourite for next week's $1 million Karaka Classic Mile didn't like everything he saw at a star-studded Matamata trials.
And that has nothing to do with how co-trainer Andrew Forsman felt about his own unbeaten star Aegon.
The 2000 Guineas winner was impressive in winning his final public hit-out before next week's Karaka Million night meeting at Ellerslie and Forsman is happy with his condition.
Forsman wasn't quite as thrilled by what he saw from key race rival Amarelinha just 15 minutes after Aegon trialled.
Aegon cruised to the line to beat moderate opposition or opponents who weren't being pushed out, whereas Amarelinha beat her champion stablemate Melody Belle and last-start Melbourne Cup placegetter The Chosen One in an eye-catching performance.
She sat outside Melody Belle, who was admittedly in need of a run, but still wore down the 12-time Group 1 winner.
Everybody was impressed, including Forsman who, along with partner Murray Baker, will be looking to down Amarelinha on Saturday week.
"She looked very good winning; it wasn't exactly what I wanted to see from Aegon's point of view.
"We are really happy with where our horse is at and he travelled in the trial well, so he is ready.
"But that filly [Amarelinha] was very good and she has to be fitter than Aegon because she raced over the Christmas carnival.
"So it is going to be a big test for our horse to beat her fresh-up."
Forsman is by no means conceding the equal-richest race in the country and is adamant Aegon is even better now than when he won the 2000 Guineas.
"He has filled out and is stronger but we have had to be a bit careful not to put all our eggs in one basket with him.
"Sure, we want to win next week but he also might have a Derby campaign here or in Australia after that. So he needed that summer break if we were going to go deeper into the season with him."
Rival trainer Jamie Richards, who had some serious firepower on show, was thrilled with Amarelinha, who has been a dramatic shortener in the Karaka Classic market from $16 to $2.40.
"They are both very good horses, so the draws may be crucial, but this filly keeps getting better every time we take her off the place," said Richards.
Richards says Melody Belle can still win the Thorndon Mile at Trentham on January 30, as she needed the trial, but he was thrilled with his other glamour mare Probabeel a few trials later.
She flew the last 100m of her 800m trial to run down 1000 Guineas winner Kahma Lass and will now head straight to Victoria for an All-Stars Mile campaign.
"I told Opie [Bosson, jockey] to make sure she didn't get too lazy and she hit the line very well, so she goes straight to Victoria, and Kahma Lass heads to Sydney, where she will trial again before racing."
Richards says his two favourites for the Group 1 races at Trentham this weekend, Brando (Levin Classic) and Avantage (Telegraph), are where they need to be fitness-wise, with the fields for those races declared late Wednesday morning.
Other high-class gallopers on show included Travelling Light, Need I Say More, ATC Derby winner Quick Thinker and former Vodafone Derby winner Crown Prosecutor, who hasn't raced in 15 months.