Luke Price is confident Count de Rupee's best is still to come, after qualifying for the $7.5 million Golden Eagle at Randwick.
The four-year-old gelding recovered to finish third in Saturday's Silver Eagle, even looming as the winner despite being speared out to the middle of the track coming into the straight, after a chain reaction when Triple Ace broke down on the turn.
"He was ready to just let down like a rocket, so to pick himself up and keep going like that was a great effort," Price said.
"It was bit of a gut-buster of a run, but I'll jump on him Monday morning and see how he's pulled up.
"We've got three weeks between runs (to the Golden Eagle), so there's plenty of time to be ready and there's definitely some improvement to come yet."
Aim, who won the three-year-old Magic Millions Guineas in January, finished best to win at $31, with the Gerald Ryan and Sterling Alexiou-trained Ellsberg a head away.
But there was much to admire about Count de Rupee, who was deep with cover in running before the incident which left jockey Regan Bayliss scrambling to recover.
With the top three qualifying, Price's sights are now firmly set on the $4.1 million winner's purse in the Golden Eagle at Rosehill.
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"He's just got such a great turn of foot," he said.
"It's a bit like getting hit hard making a run in rugby league, something like that can really take it out of a horse.
"So while I'm disappointed the incident happened, he's done his job, he's made the race."
But the Golden Eagle at Rosehill may not even be Count de Rupee's grand final this spring, with the prospect of returning to Kembla Grange for the $1 million The Gong still on the agenda.
"We mapped out a four-race plan and it's still on track," Price said.
"Obviously we'll watch how he pulls up this week and then how he comes through the Golden Eagle before making a decision.
"But we've seen what a success The Gong has been and the chance to have our horse there on our home track is a pretty big incentive."
The spring campaign comes as Racing NSW prepares to welcome a crowd of 5000 for the $15 million The Everest meeting, after NSW reached the 70 per cent full vaccination milestone.
However, discussions are ongoing to lift the cap to as much as 10,000 at Randwick, raising the prospect of a big crowd attending Kembla Grange's biggest meeting on November 20.