Mick Price is convinced his Caulfield Guineas winner Mighty Boss is far from finished as a racing prospect and expects the rising four-year-old to be a major player in the spring.
Price, who will train a number of the Spring Carnival's potential stars, including Cox Plate hopeful Grunt as well as Cups mare Hiyaam and Thousand Guineas filly Seabrook, said on Thursday that Mighty Boss had returned to his Caulfield stable and was thriving.
"He's jumping out of his skin," Price said.
"A stud deal was not done and (managing owner) Mr Yassen has decided to put the horse back into work and he's bright, bouncy and sound."
Mighty Boss' racetrack future looked dim after he pulled up sore when unplaced in the Australian Guineas at Flemington in March but Price said the horse has recovered fully.
"He had a bit of a near-front fetlock reaction after the Australian Guineas and he felt some sort of discomfort in the run there and was eased out of it," Price said.
"It was a little bit like a rolled ankle at the time. He was sore but he's well now."
Price said Mighty Boss would be set for the Group 1 mile races over the spring, starting with the Toorak Handicap, which is run over the same course as the Caulfield Guineas which he won last October at the odds of $101.
"I think he might be a Toorak Handicap horse. A four-year-old bull, I think those races suit him," Price said.
Mick Price, picture Quentinjlang.com
As for the Australian Guineas winner Grunt, Price said the horse would not return to the stable until the first week of July - a full four months since going for a spell following his Guineas victory.
Price said he decided the horse needed a long autumn spell rather than continuing on to Sydney for the three-year-old classics.
"He was always a immature horse and I spent his resources getting him into the Australian Guineas," Price said.
"I originally thought he was an ATC Derby horse but I thought that the Australian Guineas was a race that would rate him a better stud prospect given that Zabeel and a few nice horses have won that race.
"He'll be entered for everything but I think the Cox Plate might be the race. Horses like Savabeel won that race and went on to be a good stallion but he'll have any number of options in the spring."
Price goes into the spring with a realistic chance of success in the big cups following the break-out autumn campaign of his Group 1-winning filly Hiyaam, who could also take Price onto the world stage next year.
"I reckon she's a Caulfield Cup type horse with no weight," he said. "She's owned in Dubai (by Sheikh Mohammed Bin Khalifa Al Maktoum) and she might end up there next year for the World Cup Carnival.
"Hopefully we'll get her to the Caulfield Cup and possibly Melbourne Cup before then."
Hiyaam is currently in light work in Queensland as she builds towards the spring while the stable's Champagne Stakes winner Seabrook is in work in Sydney as she prepares for a tilt at the Thousand Guineas.