Training legend Frank Ritchie knows there is a sure-fire way he could help one of New Zealand's most confusing racehorses but he can't do it.
Which is one reason why Dawn Patrol (R2, No1) will go into the open sprint at Rotorua ttomorrow with the formline of a battler rather than a one-time Group 1 star.
It doesn't seem that long ago Dawn Patrol was finishing second in the 2000 Guineas or a close up fourth in the Railway Handicap, and even earlier this season, he won back-to-back open sprints at Ellerslie, beating the likes of Concert Hall and Justacanta.
But little has gone right since for the massive gelding and Ritchie, the man who trained the immortal Bonecrusher to greatness, knows what he would like to do.
"I can't get any weight relief with him," he says of Dawn Patrol, who will carry 62kg tomorrow.
"Even with his poor form he hasn't fallen that far in the ratings and with 62kg against this week it would make sense to put a claiming apprentice on but you just can't do that with him.
"He is such a stubborn bugger and just takes off and you need a senior rider to stop him.
"Even if I put an apprentice on and got him escorted down to the start once he got away if they tried to slow the pace he would run over top of something.
"That is just him. He is not an easy horse to train and while I know he still has the ability, he showed as a young horse carrying 62kg he simply can't win these races."
So Ritchie, who these days trains a team of 10 which he says helps keep him young at 77, says this may be Dawn Patrol's last race for this campaign.
"He needs to get into races where other horses are top weight but for him that means the very best horses and he isn't good enough to beat them so we have our issues."
His former glories mean Dawn Patrol has to give Aero De Paris, who impressively beat subsequent Te Rapa winner Crystalize last start, 8.5kg because he claims 3kg while a handy mare like Shoshone gets in with just 54kg.
Rotorua is going to be testing for those carrying big weights or fitness concerns as the going will be deep and it could quickly become a race for the better footing out, whether that be the fence or out wide, making reading barrier draws tricky.
Aero De Paris's stablemate Divine Duke will come into tomorrow's other open handicap, the $50,000 Taumarunui Cup, as he is race hard and loves the wet but also claims the 3kg.
Further south at Otaki the other domestic meeting has already seen money for the Allan Sharrock-trained stablemates Tavi Mac (R2, No1) and Yeaboi (R5, No2) to win the two features there and give Sharrock the ideal end to a personal best season.