Heart of Puissance (Image: Racing Photos)
Cups entrant Heart Of Puissance has come back from his winter let-up in great order, judging by his barrier trial victory on Monday morning, which pleased his trainers Ciaron Maher and David Eustace.
"To the eye, it was probably the best we've seen him trial," Eustace said.
"He was pretty sharp, he's been racing in blinkers, but I'd have his first-up run without the shades on the way he bounced and stayed nice and straight through to the line.
"He can want to have a wander around under pressure, but he didn't seem to there at all."
The five-year-old by Puissance de Lune hasn't raced since running out a comfortable winner of a 2500-metre handicap at Flemington in May and has benefitted from having a break.
"He really thrived for it, had a bit of a European spell, just in his box and then going on the walker, and he really matured and is now starting to look like the finished article," Eustace said.
"He needed a decent hit-out today just to tighten up a bit and he'll be able to have another one next week."
Eustace revealed that Heart Of Puissance will start his spring preparation on August 21 in a 2040-metre handicap at The Valley before pressing on to a VOBIS Gold 2500-metre race at Flemington on September 11.
"He's very much ground-dependent, he needs a bit of juice in the ground to take his chance, but the aim for the start or midway through the spring, I suppose, is to get into the Metropolitan up in Sydney," Eustace said.
Heart Of Puissance is nominated for both the Caulfield and Melbourne Cups this spring as well.
The British expat also noted that Biscayne Bay, who was scratched from her trial on Monday morning at Cranbourne, will jump out on Thursday and is 'coming along really nicely'.
Maher and Eustace have taken over the training of the Group 3-winning filly from Lindsay Park.
Biscayne Bay is on a Thousand Guineas preparation and is likely to resume in the Listed Atlantic Jewel Stakes at The Valley on September 4.