Trainer Tim Cook has sent an ominous warning to rivals ahead of prolific winner Conca Del Sogno's return to the races at Rockhampton on Saturday.
The Magic Albert gelding captured the attention of racing fans across Queensland during his unbeaten seven-run campaign earlier this year and - according to his trainer - is on track to taste similar success this time around.
He can secure his eighth win in-a-row from barrier five in the $30,000 Magic Millions Country Cup Qualifier (5.10pm), and secure a place in next month’s $250,000 Country Cup at the Gold Coast.
Cook said despite an unbeaten four-month preparation the horse battled soundness issues, which have now been corrected.
“He’s going as good as he’s ever gone,” he said.
“I've had my trainers' licence for about 18 years and have had some pretty handy horses, but he seems to be the next level.”
Cook said the biggest question in his mind was the step-up to open company for the first time, where he will face the likes of Townsville Cup winner Chivadahlii.
However, Cook thinks he can measure up.
“His sectionals say he that he goes good enough,” Cook said.
Should Conca Del Sogno pass the test and then win at the Gold Coast, Cook said he may push on to the Sunshine Coast Cup (January 27), or return to the paddock before attacking the winter carnival.
“The Rockhampton Newmarket is the main target for him,” Cook said.
“I thought he was going good enough to win it last year, but I opted for the easier option instead.”
Fourth-ranked metropolitan apprentice Zoe White has ridden the gelding in each of his seven wins, and returns to the Beef capital to take the mount at 54kg.
The six-race Rockhampton meeting gets under way at 1.55pm.