Trainer Shawn Mathrick saw something new from his promising sprinter Cause For Concern in a gallop ahead of his first shot at open company.
Cause For Concern takes on a handy field of sprinters in the Group 3 Aurie's Star Handicap (1200m) at Flemington on Saturday, the first feature race of the new season.
Mathrick said Cause For Concern was a slow maturing type, but his gallop at Cranbourne on Tuesday morning was the best work he had produced prior to any of his eight previous starts that has seen the gelding notch four wins.
"He's usually very cruisy, so that was exciting," Mathrick said.
"Usually, he gets up beside another horse and waits a little bit, but on Tuesday he just destroyed the horse he worked with. It was a whole different horse we were looking at. He's bouncing out of his skin, he's bucking and feeling pretty good."
Cause For Concern has won three of his past four starts and Mathrick was ruing a lack of early speed when the gelding was beaten in the Listed Creswick Stakes (1200m) at Flemington on July 1.
He came out at his next start to win over 1400m at Flemington two weeks later.