With Jarrad Dooley
Any hopes his rivals had that Order Of Command might not be at his peak after a trip to Adelaide for his return to Flemington on Saturday have been dashed with claims the horse has thrived off a short break.
Order Of Command takes topweight of 62 kilograms (on a 56kg minimum) into Saturday's 1100-metre straight dash where his assistant trainer Ben Gleeson predicts the ever-improving galloper's steady progression up the ratings.
"We've given him a quiet four weeks since his Adelaide trip to get him over that and he's in as good if not better shape now than when he ran in the Group 1," Gleeson said of The Goodwood's fifth place-getter and the 106-rater.
"He just keeps stepping up. He's airborne at the moment, his work couldn't be better."
Increasing the stable confidence for the horse that has run at Flemington 10 times and been the winner or runner-up in seven of those, is the weather forecast as Order Of Command has won five of eight runs on Soft tracks.
"I had a look at the weather earlier and it said there are thunderstorms around on Saturday so hopefully his race is later in the day and he gets some rain to get cushion on that ground," Gleeson said.
"Back to the straight course, he loves it no matter what and he's set to run a good race, rain hail or shine."
Gleeson said the stable was far from disappointed in Order Of Command's Goodwood run, which came on the heels of his superb Wangoom Handicap win at Warrnambool.
"He ran enormous," he said of the Morphettville effort. "We were adamant that day that if he had a Soft or Heavy track, we would have seen the true him and he would have been close in the finish.
"But to see him progress from seasons gone by to where he was in The Goodwood, he's been a marvelous horse for the owners and for us."
The in-form stable, which is placed third in the run for the Melbourne trainers' title with 38 winners so far in 2019/20, has claims on other races at Flemington on Saturday.
Burleigh Boy - Super VOBIS 2YO (1400m)
"We are really happy with him," Gleeson said of the Pride Of Dubai gelding, who ran fourth on debut at Pakenham in January as the $2.40 favourite.
"We're confident heading into the spring, he can step up to a mile and 2000 (metres). There is a really nice series over the next month-and-a-half that he can progress from 1400 to 1600 to 2000 and that will have him really rock hard for the spring.
"We've been trying to teach him in both his jumpouts to go back and settle.
"He had his first start at Pakenham and he sort of bounced and led them up and didn't learn a lot from it so we're trying to rectify that this prep and teach him to settle and finish off nicely.
"He's a horse that we've got a lot of time for. We think he'll get out over a trip - a mile plus."
Run To Perfection - Listed Creswick Stakes (1200m)
Former Kiwi galloper Run To Perfection runs in the Listed Creswick Stakes, where his connections hope he can follow in the footsteps of the previous two winners of the race - the country's leading sprinter Nature Strip (2018) and the subsequent Black Caviar Lightning winner Gytrash (2019).
Run To Perfection, who ran fourth in the 2000 Guineas behind Catalyst and subsequent NZ Derby winner Sherwood Forest, has had just one run for the stable when midfield in a race at Flemington on Anzac Day.
Gleeson said punters should not be swift in judging the horse on that outing.
"He's a really nice horse and forget his first-up run here as we found a few niggles and a few issues with him and we've rectified that," he said. "We've got the tongue tie and cross over (noseband) on him to help him breath a bit better.
"His jumpout at Geelong a couple of weeks ago now was really good. He finished off strongly and showed what he had in New Zealand.
"We definitely think he's a Stakes-class horse and we're hoping to see that."
Grinzinger Allee - Super VOBIS 3YO (2000m)
The stable is looking forward to an improved performance from Grinzinger Allee, who steps to 2000m on Saturday after a solid build-up.
"He hit the line strongly at Caulfield," Gleeson said. "He was certainly an eyecatcher in that race and since his last run he's been super.
"You'll see him in the parade ring on Saturday that his coat looks fantastic. Stepping up to 2000 metres at Flemington, he'll be very much suited to hit the line and he'll have a lot of time to wind up and show his turn of foot."
His run at Caulfield came off a five-week and so the stable is expecting him to challenge at the finish.
"He has shown fitness improvement and he's just crying out for a bigger track and distance to showcase himself," Gleeson said.