The sheer speed of his rivals may help Bolt For Brilliance beat them in the trot of the season so far at Alexandra Park tomorrow night.
The $85,000 Sales Series Trot is being run six months later than scheduled, postponed like so many of the age-group races late last season because of the first Covid lockdown.
It has been a blessing for the race as it brings together five stronger, more mature young trotters heading for open class, with Bolt For Brilliance, Cracker Hill and Ultimate Stride chances to end up being the best trotters in the country.
Bolt For Brilliance beat the southern pair 16 months ago at the Harness Jewels and has been brilliant this campaign, breaking 56 seconds for his last 800m when coming wide, a time more often associated with good pacers.
But Bolt For Brilliance can also look goofy, like last start when he wandered up and down the track racing in third spot before powering up to beat Temporale, an open-class force.
"He can muck around a bit like that," says champion trainer-driver Tony Herlihy.
"He was moving up and down the track last time but when I clicked him up and asked him to go, he actually trotted better and straighter. So I think he is better the faster he goes."
That is one thing that looks assured, a genuine speed, as Cracker Hill is an early flyer while Ultimate Stride is a superb stayer and the 2200m mobile should be run at a true tempo.
Providing he behaves himself at the start, which Herlihy thinks Bolt For Brilliance will do, he should be able to track the southerners and the faster they go the better he may concentrate.
If that proves the case and Bolt For Brilliance is dialled in, he should beat them, especially with the advantage of being on his home track right-handed, which is all new to the visitors.
Punters could have been forgiven for thinking the north's best pacer Copy That was actually a visitor on his home track last start as he crabbed around the last bend and probably cost himself beating Mach Shard in the Spring Cup.
Much the same field contests the Kerry Hoggard Memorial Holmes D G over 2700m and Copy That should be fitter, with trainer Ray Green blaming himself for maybe having the star four-year-old too fresh.
On raw talent he looks too special for most of his local rivals, although Mach Shard reminded how good he was winning last start, and there have been flashes of class from Triple Eight, Star Galleria and even newcomer South Coast Arden this spring.
The best version of Copy That should win but being off the inside draw on a 30m handicap raises the possibility he may have to come from behind some smart horses over the last 800m and that suggests his $1.65 quote is too short for a horse who found a way to get beaten last start.
* Race five looks one of the strongest R61-70s seen at The Park in years, with a Sires' Stakes winner in American Dealer and a host of horses heading for open class.
The three-year-old who beat Krug two starts ago will have had an easy last two weeks so punters should tread warily with him.
* Mexicana might earn herself a trip back in time, in a race two named in honour of her owner Trevor Casey's birthday. If she trots throughout, the three-year-old filly should win and confirm a trip to Victoria for group races where she will revert to being a two-year-old as their harness season now matches the calendar year.
* Three-year-olds straight out of the best age-group races into lower grade company win more often than not and that is why Mr Fantastic (R9) and Captain Nemo (R10) should end the programme with victories.