Tavago is already an Australian Derby winner but co-trainer Trent Busuttin knows he has a different horse, a better horse, heading into the BMW at Rosehill on Saturday.
Tavago's best happened nearly a year ago on Australian Derby day on a bog track at Randwick, but since then it has been a battle.
Busuttin was forced to abort Tavago's spring campaign because of a virus and started to wonder if he would get back to his best.
Tavago returned to winning form with an impressive victory in the Sky High Stakes on March 11 and Busuttin knows he is going to get a similar surface to the Derby for Tavago on Saturday and is confident he has a stronger horse.
"This is the best I have had him," Busuttin said. "We have always battled to keep condition on him because he wasn't a good eater. That was what we worried about before the Derby.
"He showed there he likes a soft track and that he was a super stayer.
"In the spring he was still not a good eater ... but it has been different this time. He has eaten up and is keeping his condition very well this time. He was never a very a good sort and is still an ugly duckling but he is stronger and more mature.
"He is handling this preparation much better and that win was very good last start."
That said, Busuttin believes another six months will help Tavago. But he is convinced he is up to group 1 weight-for-age class, especially at 2400m, right now.
"He was always a bit behind physically and we got the dentist to him a couple of months ago and his teeth were those of much younger horse, so he is still maturing," Busuttin said.
"He is still good enough for a race like this and he beat Jameka in the Derby last year and I am confident he is a much better horse now than then.
"He has improved from the Sky High and I feel we have him peaking for it [the BMW]."
Blake Shinn will stay with Tavago after winning the Sky High Stakes.
Ranvet Stakes winner Our Ivanhowe is likely to back-up from the his success on the very heavy track on Saturday, while Australian Cup trifecta of Humidor, Jameka and Exospheric will arrive for the only 2400m group 1 weight-for-age race in the country.
Lasqueti Spirit will be reunited with Brenton Avdulla for the first time since her VRC Oaks victory in the spring.
Lee Curtis is expecting her to be near her best. She was disappointing at set weights in the Sky High Stakes when beaten easily after being runner-up to Winx in the Chipping Norton Stakes.
"Brenton has always been booked for this race because it was the first real target we had," Curtis said."She gets a couple of kilos weight turnaround from the other day in the BMW and her work has been getting better.
"She just needs to get over a trip and will have been waiting to get to 2400m on her home track."