Trainer Cameron Templeton knows you need to walk before you can run in the world of racing.
Saint Valorem, a lightly-raced galloper, makes his return in the Toronado @ Swettenham Handicap at Sandown on Wednesday, a race Templeton sees as a potential springboard into bigger races later in the spring.
But first Templeton wants to see how the four-year-old, who has had just four starts, returns for his second campaign.
"He's going to go through his grades and hopefully we'll keep raising the bar as we go," Templeton said.
Saint Valorem began his racing career in the second half of his three-year-old year winning twice at Bendigo before being spelled after running third at Caulfield in April.
Templeton explained Saint Valorem wasn't broken in until he was a late two-year-old.
"It didn't do him any harm by any means," Templeton said.
"It probably doesn't harm any horse really, but it's just our style of racing that they have to be up and running early.
"Owners want a result and that's the way it is unfortunately."
Templeton said Saint Valorem had undergone a steady build-up for his return following a six-week break in the paddock, but was far from being at his peak.
"In a perfect world I would have liked to have slipped two or three jump-outs into him but I just couldn't get him on the grass anywhere," Templeton said.
"He's going into the race underdone in that way but in saying that he's got plenty of work under his belt.
"He's about 85 per cent right, you don't want them 100 per cent at this stage."
While Saint Valorem hasn't raced beyond 1100m, Templeton has no doubts that 1200, 1400 and even 1600 metres won't be beyond him in the future.
He believes country features like the Seymour and Kilmore Cups, over 1600m, could be suitable.
"Hopefully he might be better than that but we won't get too excited just yet," Templeton said.
G2 - Prix Doynel De Saint-quentin
G2 - Prix Joseph Lafosse
Listed - Secretariat Stakes
Listed - Southeaster Sprint
G2 - Southern Cross Stakes