With maturity and the right distance, trainer Jason Lim is hoping his Race 12 runner, Takhi, can bounce back at Kranji today.
The Singaporean handler believes his US$23,500 (S$32,000) purchase has potential, after the three-year-old's surprise debut win on Feb 21.
That day, he was more optimistic about his other newcomer, Crystal Dragon, in the Restricted Maiden event over the Polytrack 1,200m.
But it was his "second stringer" that delivered the goodies.
Crystal Dragon finished last in the eight-horse field after being well up in the race.
Takhi may have disappointed in his next three starts over 1,200m and 1,400m on turf and Polytrack, but he has returned to form.
The removal of blinkers and the increase in distance to the Polytrack 1,600m sparked his transformation in his last start on Sept 5.
Unlike his debut come-from-behind victory, he raced on the pace and just failed to catch Leatherhead by 11/2 lengths in Class 4.
The Takhi that Lim has time for is back. This gives him some confidence in today's Poly 1,600m in Race 12. Gate 2 is a bonus.
"I used to run him in sprint races, but I think his first-up win over 1,200m was also a sign he needs further," said retired trainer David Hill's former deputy.
"I think we got the right distance for Takhi now. He's also become more mature.
"He's always shown a certain keenness in his trackwork. I took the blinkers off at his last start and he wasn't so keen.
"He jumped well and landed behind Leatherhead, who is a very good horse. He showed a good turn of foot.
"He's drawn nicely in two. I think he's got a good chance."
Lim, who is in joint-10th place with Donna Logan in the trainers' log with 13 winners, labelled Takhi "quite a progressive horse".
"Without getting too ahead of myself, if he keeps going through his grades, I may look at a feature race for him, when he is four years old next year," he said.
"One race at a time, though, let's see how he goes this Saturday first."
Takhi will be ridden by jockey John Sundradas today.