A decade ago, Kerry Parker thought he might have his first Cox Plate horse.
Here's Brilliant Light, then a five-year-old, punching the breeze three-wide the entire trip of the famous Doncaster Mile from barrier 16.
By the time they turned for the post, he was peeling off five wide and still kicked on for third, only beaten by the surging Rangirangdoo and Road To Rock.
A yearling Parker was determined to purchase, above their budget, at the Inglis 2007 sales, Brilliant Light repaid the faith, only to be hobbled by persistent hoof problems for the rest of his career.
Now on Saturday, Parker takes on a new great 1600m race, this time on his home patch at Kembla Grange for the $1 million The Gong, with a five-year-old gelding who has the potential to become his greatest ever horse.
"We never saw his best," Parker said of Brilliant Light.
"He was three deep the trip and ran an absolute cracker and I thought, gee, I might have a Cox Plate horse on my hands. But this bloke (Think It Over) is pretty special.
"He's a five-year-old, hopefully he can race on a few more seasons, he's only just starting to work it out.
"He could easily take that mantle."
Of course, Parker has climbed the heights all the way to the Melbourne Cup with Don Raphael (20th behind Makybe Diva, 2004) and Gold Sovereign (24th behind Jeune, 1994).
Parker also had Dark Dream, who won the Group 1 Queensland Derby and was looking at a Victorian spring carnival campaign but instead sold off to overseas interests, running fourth in the Hong Kong Mile.
Think It Over's finest hour so far came in the Group 3 Craven Plate at Randwick over 2000m last month, earning him a benchmark rating of 103 to qualify for The Gong. While Parker concedes Think It Over will need to be at his best to beat Group 1 placed company when back in trip, he's fearless about his prospects.
Jumping from barrier three, Parker is hopeful for a tow into the first handful on the back of Bjorn Baker's Positive Peace, as Gai Waterhouse's Dawn Passage and the Hawkes stable's Archedemus consider taking up the charge.
Think It Over spend days in the paddock for a mental freshen up to tackle the mile, before returning to Parker's stables last week.
A future of 2400m, or more, beckons, but Parker has been careful to keep his work sharp to be ready to Saturday's race, especially now he's tasted black-type success.
"He's done all the work, it's up to him now," he said.
Think It Over's chance is more than a source of South Coast pride, it's also a celebration of smaller stables - Parker has 14 in work - against the equine giants like Godolphin and Chris Waller.
"We have a turnover of three yearlings a year," Parker said. "It's not like you're getting a hundred of them, it's hard to find horses of that calibre.
"They're not million dollar horses, we're finding horses at the sales that are slipping through the sieve."
$1 million feature race, Kembla Grange
TAB betting market: Purple Sector $4.60; Dawn Passage $4.80; Rock $7; Cascadian, Asiago $11; Olmedo $12, Mister Sea Wolf $13, Bottega $15, Brandenburg $23; Positive Peace, Reloaded $26; Best Of Days, Archedemus, Think It Over, Nettoyer $34; Al Mah Haha $51.
- Your comprehensive Racing NSW The Gong day form guide starts on page 33
- Check out our runner-by-runner guide, the late mail and all the latest news in Saturday's Mercury.