Premier trainer John Size takes Love Shock back to the all-weather track on Wednesday night and the talented four-year-old gets his chance to make it a breakthrough in Class Two in the Egret Handicap (1,200m).
Love Shock (Chad Schofield) has been to the dirt once before, when he was favourite over California Whip (Neil Callan) three starts ago in Class Three but was forced to play second fiddle to the Tony Cruz-trained gelding on January 18.
Love Shock drew a wide gate that night and had to get back into midfield while California Whip drew perfectly to used his natural speed and follow the leaders through on the rail.
As a result, Love Shock straightened up giving California Whip a three and a half length start at the 300m and worked it back to less than three lengths.
That might not sound like he made a big impression, but combine it with a nine-pound swing in the weights and a switch in barriers and it will be enough to make a much better race of it, at the very least.
Of all of that, the key is probably the barrier switch that should see him closer from gate four, especially if Schofield can get Love Shock to begin better than he has been. If he can get across Born In China, Eroico and Happy Surveys underneath him in the first 300m, Love Shock can be third along the fence and railing up behind the pace running to the home straight.
That would put him right on the back of California Whip in the box seat behind speedy Perpetual Treasure, and with the best part of Love Shock’s running style still to come.
And what is certain is that Love Shock, wherever he is positioned, will get a better tempo to run at than he has been in his last two slowly run races at Happy Valley.
California Whip is the clear danger and punters should have plenty of respect too for Archippus (Zac Purton) who is going as well as he ever has right now and loves this surface.