Excess Knowledge commences a spring campaign his co-trainer hopes can deliver a Melbourne Cup.
Seventh in last year's Cup, Excess Knowledge will contest the Group Two Dato Tan Chin Nam Stakes at Moonee Valley on Saturday.
Adrian Bott, who formed a training partnership with Gai Waterhouse at the start of the season, was pleased with the way Excess Knowledge handled his first sighting of the tricky Moonee Valley circuit.
"He looked to get around the track well," Bott said.
"Our horses seem to handle the track well and importantly he was on the right leads and was strong through the line."
Waterhouse has used Saturday's race as a stepping stone to Melbourne Cup glory with Fiorente in 2013.
Excess Knowledge hasn't raced since finishing tenth in the Hollindale Cup at the Gold Coast in May, one of only two runs during a brief autumn campaign.
"He's come back in really great order," Bott said.
"I think he's really benefited from the time off after a light campaign in the autumn."
Bott said not only was it important to have a look a Moonee Valley it also gave the stable the opportunity to have a gallop on a track that is in top shape.
And the exercise gave Excess Knowledge the opportunity to get away from Flemington for a gallop to improve his fitness.
But Bott added Excess Knowledge would improve on whatever he does on Saturday.
"He hasn't been to the races for a while so a trip away from Flemington was good," Bott said.
"His grand final is still quite a way away but he is forward enough to run a competitive race on Saturday with lots of improvement to come."
Bott said a program hasn't been mapped out for Excess Knowledge past Saturday's race.
He said the stayer was among entries for the Caulfield Cup but the stable wasn't locked in to running him in that Group One race.
"There's plenty of nice races that are stepping stones for him but the Melbourne Cup is his main aim," Bott said.
Grade B - Ballymore Eustace Handicap Hurdle
Grade B - Three.ie H'cap Steeplechase
G1 - Ryanair Nov Chase
G1 - Ladbrokes Champion Stayers Hurdle
G1 - Nz Oaks