Robbie Laing expects stakes-winning two-year-old Golconda to stamp herself as a genuine Blue Diamond contender at Caulfield on Saturday.
Golconda makes her return in the Blue Diamond Preview (1000m) for fillies having not been seen since her three-length win in the Listed Merson Cooper Stakes over the same course and distance at Caulfield in November at her second start.
"She is bigger. She has grown about an inch. She is about 20 kilos heavier. And she has worked the place down," Laing said.
"She's in great fettle for her first-up tilt on Saturday."
Laing said he had still left "something in reserve" for the Blue Diamond fillies Prelude on February 8 and Group One Blue Diamond (1200m) two weeks later but expects her to run well in her return.
Golconda, who was fourth to Oakleigh Girl at Flemington on debut after jumping awkwardly, was the equal favourite for Saturday's race at $3.90 with TAB fixed odds on Thursday along with Fontein Ruby.
The Tony Vasil-trained Fontein Ruby was due to step out for the second time at Caulfield last Wednesday but was a late-scratching when she reared and hit her head in the tie-up stalls before the race.
Eloping, an impressive winner at Bendigo on debut last month, is third favourite at $4.20, while four of the nine runners will be making their debuts.
Under the set weights plus penalties conditions, Golconda carries 57.5kg and has 2.5kg more than her rivals.
Two-year-old races can sometimes be a bit of a guessing game with young horses and horses who have yet to race, but Laing is happy with what he has seen so far.
"Unless there is something out of the box, from what we've seen from trials and races there's nothing to sort of worry me too much," he said.
"Obviously we're up the top of the weights, but over 1000 metres generally the weight they've got is offset by experience. I'm very happy with her."
Laing also has last weekend's Inglis Classic runner-up Boomwaa heading to the Group One Blue Diamond and he could go into that race without another run.
"I might give him an easy week down the beach and then that will give ourselves three weeks to prepare him," he said.
"It might nearly eliminate him from the Prelude, but we'll see how we go."