IT'S amazing what a decent horse can do for the pysche. There has been a bounce in Robert Thompson's step since he won on Neville Begg's immensely promising young horse, Winning Partners. Thompson excelled when getting Ivan Allan's Kevpal home at the Valley on Monday. And he did well to thread Real Sport into second behind Cruise Missile at Sha Tin recently. Going forward on Winning Partners and taking the race by the scruff of the neck seems to have done wonders for Thompson's confidence. And he has every opportunity of landing another winner in tomorrow's opening event on Begg's small but gutsy King Star. The son of Dalsaan has been working well for some time and usually just needs one run back from a break to come to peak condition. He has had that one run over an inadequate 1,200 metres where he was far from disgraced in finishing ninth of 14 behind Dashing. And King Star has caught the eye in a solid barrier trial down the straight 1,000-metre course, where he stayed on really strongly to the line. Yesterday he confirmed his well being with a fluent run under Thompson, coming home in a pleasing 23.6 seconds for the final 400 metres to notch a total time of 1:18.7 for his 1,200-metre workout. Begg's horses are running really well and the veteran former Sydney handler would love nothing better than a winner on International Cup day in front of several former colleagues and friends from Down Under. There was plenty of good work yesterday for tomorrow's modest second event, none more so than the Danny Lee-ridden Castlepeaktreasure who looks to have been set for this dash down the straight. Lee could do with a winner to spur him on in his appeal against a nine-meeting ban, imposed for allegedly not riding Super Win Boo to obtain its best possible placing. He may have it in Castlepeaktreasure who looked in fine shape as he clocked a useful 1:15.6 for the 1,200-metre gallop. He will be tested by Patrick Biancone's Super Fellow, who is blinkered for the first time, having shown a lot more zest when sporting the blinds in a recent trial. Super Fellow again looked good yesterday morning as did 1,000-metre specialist Real Perfect who has dropped to a handy mark. For the third event, Peter Tse Yan-sid's Most Delighted continues to improve in the mornings. He is reunited with Gerald Mosse, whose riding of a stayer will be an experience in itself for many of the southern hemisphere visitors. Derek Cruz has not missed his Australian import Universal in the mornings for this third contest. Lionheart has progressed along typical David Hill-trained lines in readiness for an intriguing seventh race, featuring a number of horses who look as if they will be working their way out of Class Three before the end of the season. Lionheart is much fitter than when he ran first time out, yet Hill has got him there without putting him under pressure at all. Partner has done really well since moving to Biancone for this race while, Sir Rodmor, who recently left the French handler for Peter Ng Bik-kuen, has also impressed in his work.