Change of environment has worked wonders, says trainer Trainer John Moore is excited about the prospects of Best Gift in tomorrow's $2.3 million Queen Mother Memorial Cup and sees the race as a real proving ground for his up-and-coming New Zealand-bred stayer. Although the Tony Cruz-trained Super Combed (Felix Coetzee) will be favourite for this Group Three handicap, Moore sees the rematch between the pair as a very close thing, and a portent of things to come. 'When they clashed at Happy Valley [March 23] there was very little between them,' Moore recalled. 'Super Combed won the race by a neck, but they pulled right away and beat the others by a huge margin. 'Since then, we have come out and won again, carrying 133 pounds and running fast time, so there's no doubt the form is very strong indeed.' The wayward temperament of Best Gift has given Moore one of the strongest professional challenges of his season - one he's almost tempted to say he's winning. Almost. 'The last few changes we've made to his routine have definitely made a difference, they've settled him right down,' Moore said. 'I changed his mafoo and also changed his box, so he has some new neighbours in the stable and he seems to like them. They may not sound much, but for a highly strung horse like him, they can make a difference. 'Now, his temperament has continued to improve, he's much happier in himself. The other day, when he won at Sha Tin, he was the best he's been to date, touch wood.' Best Gift was at his all-time worst in the Mercedes-Benz Classic Mile, when he was backed down from $110 to $75 but then refused to jump away, missing the start by 25 lengths. It was all the more disappointing because Moore had put Best Gift in a hood for the first time, and the sound-reducing qualities of this equipment theoretically should have made him calmer, not wilder. After that, Moore went back to basics. The hood came back off and the tinkering with Best Gift's lifestyle began, with the trainer hoping to find the recipe that clicked with the recalcitrant one. After Best Gift came from well back for a close-up fifth to Healthy Wealthy over 1,800m at Happy Valley at his next start, Moore sensed he was on the right track. Then came his second to Super Combed, a performance which would have been a win in almost any other race, but he found the renowned Happy Valley specialist in the peak of his form on the night in question. On face value, Super Combed has the better of the weights tomorrow, meeting Best Gift three pounds better for inflicting a neck defeat. In theory, if they both turn up in identical form, the margin between the pair should blow out to 11/2 lengths in Super Combed's favour. But those superficial mathematics don't allow for the improvement factor with Best Gift - the ingredient Moore is counting on to turn it around. 'I'm very happy with my horse. In fact, the happiest I've been with him,' the trainer said. 'I know Tony is thinking in terms of the Melbourne Cup with Super Combed and I wouldn't disagree with that thinking. 'I think they are both have the turn of foot that only high-class stayers possess. As far as Best Gift is concerned, this is a real test. If he comes through this, then perhaps we can start planning ahead for something bigger as well.'