He hasn't won since the big-money offers flooded in from Asia to take Bon Amis abroad, but Newcastle trainer Jason Deamer insists there is still more to come from the lightly-raced sprinter.
The $4000 internet buy was late last year the subject of six-figure bids from overseas interests who were swept up with Bon Amis' four straight wins to start his career, but he has struggled to land a victory since.
More to come: Bon Amis.
Apart from wanting to enjoy the racetrack thrill that Bon Amis could have potentially provided them, the Bon Hoffa gelding's owners had eyes for the $600,000 Provincial Championships final at Randwick last month.
It was some progression after he went from Cessnock to Muswellbrook to Newcastle and then Rosehill in a blazing start to his career, which had tongues wagging offshore.
But Bon Hoffa wound up fifth in the lucrative Provincial Championships decider and is still searching for another city win, even if Deamer himself is not fretting over what's to come.
"Maybe [the Provincial Championships] took a bit out of him, but I thought it was a pretty good effort from the horse himself," Deamer said. "It's a series with a lot of prizemoney on offer so you've got to have a crack at it.
You always try to get down there to take on the big boys.
"You're always learning in this game. You always try to get down there to take on the big boys. This will be his fifth run of the prep. He's only lightly raced so he's got a little bit in front of him."
Deamer's small stable in the Hunter has leant on Bon Amis to be a flagbearer in recent times and he's on the verge of crashing through the $200,000 prizemoney barrier if he can feature in the money in the last at Rosehill on Saturday.
It has been a steep progression for a horse Deamer thought would struggle to win a country race after "not being able to get him going at all" in his first preparation.
Blaike MacDougall, one of the most successful apprentices in Sydney this season, will partner Bon Amis and has previous experience on the horse.
"He rode Bon Amis at Rosehill last time and he was just beaten," Deamer said. "This benchmark system is all over the place and originally he was going to get 58 [kilograms] in a Benchmark 85 race so we thought we'll claim here.
"Then the top one [Sure And Fast] was rated higher so they put the benchmark up and he'll carry just 54 after the claim now.
"It looks a bit tricky from the barrier. His chances will be helped with a few more scratchings between now and Saturday. Hopefully he can go forward and slot in somewhere with a bit of cover."
Bon Amis' case will be aided slightly with Brad Widdup likely to ship Chauffeur north to take on a Brisbane winter carnival assignment rather than be kept for a shot at the Rosehill last.
Chris Waller's Noire is a $3.80 favourite with Sportsbet for the race, shading Bon Amis ($5) on the second line of betting.
Waller is fresh from training five of the seven winners at Warwick Farm on Wednesday and is likely to boast a host of favourites on his home track on Saturday.
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