Grave doubts at the halfway mark turned to relief and elation for trainer Matt Laurie the last time his smart mare Two Sugars raced.
As he prepares for Two Sugars’ appearance at Moonee Valley on Saturday, he would be happy for a similar scenario to unfold.
Two Sugars ran the sort of race Laurie always believed she was capable of when she won at Mornington earlier this month.
But the eight-length margin she held over her rivals at the end of the 1600m came as a pleasant surprise.
“I always had a reasonable opinion of her,” Laurie said.
“But I was a bit worried in the run.”
Two Sugars went straight to the front from the barrier and by the 800m her rider Josh Cartwright had her four lengths clear.
“I was thinking maybe the jockey hadn’t ridden her too well at that point,” he said.
“But she kept rolling along and getting further and further in front.
“In the end there were no complaints about anything.”
Two Sugars steps up in class in the Printhouse Handicap (1600m) at the Valley, but Laurie is confident she has made enough improvement to cope.
Her last run was only her second this preparation and her trainer believes she should already have a city win to her credit.
“She should have won a race at Caulfield a few runs back, she really was very unlucky,” he said.
That race was won by classy filly Shahabi who could give a pointer to Two Sugars’ chances when she runs earlier on Saturday.
Two Sugars also has the benefit of being a proven Moonee Valley performer, having won over the same distance at the track.
And she has the confidence of the trainer who also broke her in.
“She is a very genuine horse, she knows her job well and she has some quality,” he said.
Two Sugars is sharing favouritism in most markets with Champagne Ruby and Aliyana.