He's still got plenty to learn, but once Lucky For All puts it all together and understands his job on the racetrack, he's going to be a force to be reckoned with.
The day he beat Furrion by three lengths at Caulfield gave us a glimpse of his true ability, and when he was beaten at his next start, it was simply because he fell too far back on an unsuitable wet track in the Queensland Derby.
He made his return for the Spring at Moonee Valley a fortnight ago, zooming up late whilst hanging in for the last part of the race behind The Avenger. Like I said, Darren Weir has got his hands full teaching Lucky For All better racing habits, but it was clear he's come back in good style.
At Caulfied he gets a more suitable circuit, and as long as he doesn't cost himself with bad behaviour he'll be too good for this lot, and Weir will no doubt look towards a stakes race with him in the coming Spring.
AROUND THE GROUNDS
A young staying mare with plenty of upside, Miss Admiration -- a dual Oaks placegetter as a filly -- has been brought to Sydney by her trainer Mick Price for a crack at getting into The Metrop field next week.
With the news that the nominal favourite for that race in Avilius was not going to head to Sydney, it all of a sudden becomes a very winnable group one, and perhaps Price has thought that his mare is good enough to be highly competitive.
Price obviously thinks the daughter of Sebring is going well, otherwise he wouldn't have brought her up from his Caulfield base, and she strikes a less than stellar field here in the JRA Trophy to make sure she gets into next week's major.
I thought she might come up favourite for this, considering the handy older stayers in the field, but a few of them are seemingly out of form, and her two runs in good company back home have been eye-catching to say the least.
I expect her to win this, and the $51 currently on offer in The Metrop is certainly worth a speck as well.
Prompt Response has had 27 starts since her debut run in a listed two-year-old fillies' race on Melbourne Cup Day 2015, and only once has she not been in a stakes race, and that was when the Tulloch Lodge team sent her to Newcastle for a kill in a maiden which she duly won by almost 5 lengths.
She really has been a fantastic mare over almost three full years of racing, and is arguably still underrated even though she was finally able to secure a much deserved group one victory in the Tatts Tiara at the end of her last prep in late June.
That Autumn/Winter campaign during the year was her best to date; outside of that Tiara win, she won twice at group two level, was beaten by a star filly in Alizee in the Queen Of The Turf, and was less than three quarters of a length off the winner in her other three defeats.
She's had two trials to get herself ready, so I reckon she'll be good to go first up here in The Golden Pendant. She draws a tricky gate in Barrier 9, but her stablemate and probable leader Shumookh is drawn one inside her, so I dare say the plan will be for Damien Oliver to be positive and come across with Shumookh and eventually sit just off her.
As long as he doesn't get trapped wide I think she'll prove too tough late.
I often bang on about it in this column, but I can't stress enough how important it is to understand why a horse gets beaten, and to be able to pull out the forgiveness card when appropriate.
There was no better example of this than Miss Fabulass last week in the Tea Rose, and I think the same can be applied to Zousain in the Golden Rose.
I'm an unabashed fan of the horse -- I think he's as talented as any three year old sprinter of his generation -- but he definitely has a chink in the armour with wet tracks. It's the "shifty" versions of the wet surfaces that get him; he just seems to spin when the pressure is applied on them, and that's exactly what happened first up in The Run To The Rose a fortnight ago.
Saturday will be a completely different scenario, as he'll get the good surface he needs to show his best, he'll get a very soft run from the inside gate, and I think he thrives on being tucked away -- he's got a brilliant burst of acceleration and he's capable of putting away his rivals quickly.
I can see it happening here, I believe in the horse's ability, and I reckon it could well be his time to shine.
OVER THE ODDS
Mr Sneaky has always threatened to win a really good race, and he almost did it in this event last year, looking the winner with 100 metres to go before being overpowered late by Santa Ana Lane.
Somehow, between then and now, Mr Sneaky hasn't won a race. He's been thrown in the deep end a few times, been stiff on a couple of occasions, and just plain found some better as well, but, he's definitely still capable of winning... he just needs things to go his way.
He comes into this year's Sir Rupert Clarke off the back of two very good efforts. Unfortunately he's drawn very wide, and that's part of the reason he's at the price he is, but he'll push forward from there and look to come across with Dollar For Dollar, who has drawn directly inside him.
With any luck he can slot in behind Dollar For Dollar for some cover; if he gets some, I think Mr Sneaky is cherry ripe to put in a big performance.
Leg 1 - 1,3
Leg 2 - 2,3,4
Leg 3 - 2,4,5,8,9,11
Leg 4 - 3,4,7,12
($100 = 69.44%)
Leg 1 - 5,7,8,9,14
Leg 2 - 1,3,5,10,11,12,13,15,16
Leg 3 - 2,4,8,12,15
Leg 4 - 1,2
($100 = 22.22%)