Trainer Gai Waterhouse has brushed aside any concerns high-class mare More Joyous might have come to the end of her spring campaign, declaring her certain to go on to the Cox Plate and probably the Mackinnon Stakes at Flemington on Derby Day a week later.
More Joyous finished a game but disappointing fourth when favourite behind Solzhenitsyn in the Toorak Handicap at Caulfield last weekend after doing more work than any other and carrying 60kg.
The effort prompted fears she may be again displaying her tendency to rapidly lose condition and form after a few runs. Quite the opposite, according to Waterhouse.
"I think she needed Saturday's run," Waterhouse said.
"She looks a picture ... she'll run in the Cox Plate, and run very well.
"Then I'd back her up in the Mackinnon and then go to the paddock."
More Joyous has never had more than five runs in a preparation and has generally only produced three or four high-quality efforts each campaign.
The Cox Plate will be her fourth run this time in.
Waterhouse gave the mare a relatively easy morning yesterday in a gallop on the course proper at Moonee Valley, where she acted as lead horse for another of her trainer's three Cox Plate runners, Proisir.
More Joyous led out by six lengths but was held together from the 400m at which point Craig Newitt on Proisir applied some pressure, easily running past the mare entering the straight.
The effort, Proisir's first at the Valley, pleasantly surprised his trainer.
"I thought he might have been a bit geeky," she said.
"He surprised me, he was very professional."
While Waterhouse's other three-year-old Cox Plate entrant Pierro has been a ready-made racehorse, Proisir has been a late developer and something of a revelation. AAP