The Group One Coolmore Classic is the goal for Sweet Deal this autumn with trainer John Thompson adamant the mare has gone to a new level.
Nash Rawiller bounced the $14 chance to the front in Saturday's Group Three Triscay Stakes (1200m) at Randwick and she went to the line full of steam, scoring by 2-1/4 lengths over Spiritual Pursuit ($51).
Pohutukawa ($8.50) was doing her best work late another length away.
"She's a mare that has just got better with age and has just grown in confidence and Nash is riding her with confidence," Thompson said.
"She is probably better on top of the ground too.
"Mares, if they're going well, they're going well."
"She is in the zone."
Thompson said Sweet Idea would progress to the Guy Walter Stakes in two weeks with her main goal the Group One Coolmore Classic next month.
But first, the trainer is sweating on Rawiller successfully appealing a careless riding suspension incurred at Warwick Farm on Wednesday.
As is stands, Rawiller will miss the February 29 meeting and given Sweet Idea has won four of her five starts under Rawiller, Thompson is anxious.
"I just hope Nash is successful in his appeal on Thursday so he can ride her in two weeks," Thompson said.
"In the past she has had a few idiosyncrasies and he just sorts them out."
Thompson was also happy with the return of Dreamforce, who was second to Alizee in the Apollo Stakes, citing race fitness as the difference.
"You're never happy to get beat but Alizee had a run under her belt and was just a fitter horse in the conditions," Thompson said.
"My horse will improve a lot from the run and I'm looking forward to two weeks time."
Vegadaze bounced back to the winner's list in the final race after finishing sixth behind Standout in the Expressway Stakes first up when he wanted to over-race.
He showed better manners to lead throughout on Saturday, much to the relief of trainer Anthony Cummings.
"He's carried a fair bit of weight today and put the away comfortably in the finish," he said.
I probably won't go back to weight-for-age straight away but I think he will get back there later this prep."