Daniel Bowman believes Begood Toya Mother has improved as he begins a preparation the trainer hopes can result in big race success in the spring.
Begood Toya Mother resumes from a let-up in Saturday's Listed Regal Roller Stakes (1200m) at Caulfield, an important race for the gelding because Bowman is targeting the Group One Sir Rupert Clarke Stakes (1400m) third-up next month.
Saturday's race is Begood Toya Mother's first stakes test and an opportunity for him to boost his rating and stamp his Rupert Clarke credentials.
Winner of six of his 10 starts, Begood Toya Mother rose through the grades with five-straight wins last campaign, culminating in a five-length victory in a 1440m benchmark-88 at Caulfield on June 1.
He had a jump-out at Ballarat and then impressed winning a jump-out at Horsham at the end of last month before Bowman gave the five-year-old a race day gallop at Warrnambool last week.
"It seems like he has improved and taken the next step, just mentally more than anything," Bowman said.
"Hopefully he shows that on Saturday.
"We were really impressed with his jump-out at Horsham.
"It was a bit arrogant really, and he needed a bit more of a hit-out than what he got so that's why we took him to the races at Warrnambool and worked him with probably our best worker (Working From Home), because she needed a good hit-out too.
"She's in great order and she's a really good track worker so when he ambled up to her and went past her comfortably, it really showed that he's probably come on since last preparation."
Begood Toya Mother has the limit weight of 54kg in the nine-horse field and was the $2.50 favourite on race eve.
"We're not there mucking around on Saturday. We've got him forward enough with that little break to be running well because we know we still need to get our rating up," he said.
"He was winning by big margins carrying big weights last time so he's probably not going to know himself with 54 kilos."