Ambitious finishing second to Almandin in the Tancred Stakes (Image: Bradley Photos)
He's called Ambitious and his task for much 2018 is surely just that with the former Japanese galloper now aiming up at Winx.
Ambitious turned in a super performance when a luckless second in Saturday's Group 1 Tancred Stakes at Rosehill in just his second run in this country and he now is to be pitted against Winx as she attempts consecutive win No. 25 in the $4 million Queen Elizabeth Stakes in two weeks.
It may not be a one-off challenge either with trainer Anthony Freedman on Sunday outlining plans to test Ambitious against the mare again in spring.
"We will run next in the Queen Elizabeth and then probably winter in Queensland without racing and then concentrate on the Cox Plate in the spring," Freedman said.
As for lining up against Winx as she attempts to equal Black Caviar's record for unbeaten runs, he said: "That doesn't faze me," he said. "Whatever happens, happens. It's the right race for us so that's what we are doing.
"(But) it would be unrealistic to think that (he could beat Winx). She doesn't seem to have a chink in her armour.
"She'd have to have an off-day I'd have thought, but we're going there with a fit horse who should enjoy Randwick and is thriving so we'll take our chances."
On his best day, Ambitious certainly has the credentials to test Winx.
He has raced against some of the best middle-distance horses in Japan over the past two seasons, boasting form against Maurice, A Shin Hikari, Neorealism and, importantly, a 2000-metre victory over Japan's staying star Kitasan Black.
Ambitious enjoyed a soft run behind the speed on Saturday but was caught up at a vital stage behind the tiring Oaks winner Lasqueti Spirit on the home turn before rallying to grab second behind the impressive Almandin.
Despite the run over 2400m, Freedman said the horse was unlikely to see that trip again this year.
"Craig's (Williams) initial thoughts were that he doesn't really get a mile-and-a-half (2400m), which his form has said and that is what they told us from Japan, so it was a bit of an experiment," Freedman said.
"He ran very well but Craig felt back to 2000 metres was definitely the way to go. He got held up a bit and stopped in his tracks but he was good through the line."
Ambitious has taken some time to show his best form after a sluggish start to his racing life in this country. At his first public outing, he was unplaced in a Cranbourne trial before an improved run in his local debut in the Australian Cup.
Freedman said he was hoping there was a peak run still to come from the galloper this campaign.
"I am still learning about him," he said. "He's obviously a racehorse as he doesn't put much into his work so knowing that now, you can take a different view of his trackwork."
Owner Lloyd Williams confirmed on Sunday that Almandin would be joined by stable mate Aloft in the $2 million Sydney Cup on April 14.