The Peter and Paul Snowden-trained Mazu heads to the Group 1 Newmarket Handicap (1200m) first-up at Flemington on Saturday after impressing the jockey in a recent jump-out at the track.
Winner of the Group 1 Doomben 10,000 last winter, Mazu was given a look at the Flemington straight track last Friday in an 800m jump-out.
"I went down and jumped him out at Flemington on Friday morning, and I was quite taken with how he handled it all," Clipperton said.
"It was like he has been there and is trained at Flemington. I was a little surprised because he does like to throw his weight around a little bit, so it was a pleasing performance.
"It's hard to say going there 'I think he can win', but I think he can run a really good race."
Clipperton knows it will not be an easy contest, especially lining-up against nemesis Private Eye who has led Mazu home in their two previous meetings.
Once was in The Everest last year when Giga Kick had their measure then in the Nature Strip Stakes when Private Eye defeated Mazu.
Clipperton said it will be a hot race on Saturday adding it will be interesting to see where Mazu now stacks up against his nemesis.
"I'm very curious to see how Mazu has come back because he's giving the indication that he has improved," Clipperton said.
That may also indicate there is a change in the guard within sprinting ranks with Eduardo creeping on in age and Nature Strip being beaten out of a place first-up in the Lightning Stakes.
"Even Private Eye, he has been around a while in sprinting ranks, after being a miler early in his career, but Mazu fits that mould of being the fresh blood in the sprinting ranks," Clipperton said.
"There's not much there between them all and I think Mazu is right there.
"When he won the Doomben 10,000, he was still a baby, in the spring as a four-year-old he was still a baby, but this year and next year will be his time."