Sam Kavanagh clammed up when asked whether Atlantic Jewel, the excitement machine with the potential to fill the void left by Black Caviar, would stand up to a preparation.
Atlantic Jewel, trained by Kavanagh's father Mark, hasn't raced for 68 weeks.
Sam, who is only 27, has branched out on his own and is out to crack the toughest racing game - Sydney. Make it here and you can make it anywhere.
To open his account, Sam put on a lunch at a leading steakhouse last week for a fine array of media freeloaders, signifying the new age of up and coming trainers.
Once upon time most young trainers were struggling to feed their horses, but on Wednesday Sam covered exes when his charge, the aptly named Words Are Weapons, scored at Warwick Farm at his first attempt north of the border.
Sam adds substance to the practice of sons and daughters of the great and outstanding following the family tradition on the turf.
When the subject of Atlantic Jewel arose he ducked his head like dodging a savage bumper.
"No comment, it's none of my business," he answered.
Sam has been training in Adelaide while the mare is being nursed back to peak fitness by Mark at Flemington.
Fair enough, but we all had an opinion and like everyone else hoeing into the best wagyu and Angus surely he could express a personal one, hardly the stable view.
"I think she will," he said, relaxing. When her break was raised he pointed out Atlantic Jewel could have returned in Brisbane but its wet tracks weren't suitable.
The perfect host was only too happy to stress he felt the Adelaide three-year-old Eclair Big Bang, successful at his only attempt, would make it in the Melbourne spring. Eclair Big Bang, prepared by Phillip Stokes, has been nominated for the Caulfield Guineas and Cox Plate.
After making his mark in Adelaide with eight winners last season, Sam has 12 horses at Rosehill. This will rise to 20 when accommodation is finalised. Sydney, he figures, has more potential owners.
Obviously Sam had a demanding apprenticeship under his father but he also did a stint in Britain.
The aspect of interest is what the sons and daughters of the racing great take away in plenty from their tutors before adding their own initiative.
It would appear Sam is more of a people person than his father.
Mark has a reputation for being "abrasive" with the media. Perhaps he doesn't suffer fools gladly.
He was in South Australia when I was serving time at Melbourne Cup carnivals, talking nearly every day with the master, Bart Cummings, George Hanlon, Col Hayes, going back to Geoff Murphy. And later Lee Freedman. In their own style, all were words are weapons trainers.
Subsequently Mark Kavanagh, who did some early time with Cummings, has shown he is up with Australia's best, taking a Melbourne Cup with Shocking as well as a Cox Plate with Maldivian. Super Cool, the Australian Cup winner, and Atlantic Jewel promise to star in the new spring.
Also arriving this season is the Bart and James Cummings partnership. Do their indications of a style change point more to winning earlier in a preparation than the designated target?
While Bart was renowned as the Cups King, his son Anthony, very good in his own right, is more of a first-up trainer, a point to consider with Cluster in the San Domenico at Rosehill on Saturday.
Yet the master pulled off a major coup with Cap D'Antibes in the 1975 Lightning at Flemington. Runner-up in the VRC Oaks in her previous preparation, Cap D'Antibes started at 20-1 in the sprint but punters couldn't get set at any odds at the corresponding Sydney meeting, Randwick, because the support was so strong.
Gai Waterhouse, too, employed different methods, particularly with older horses, to her father Tommy Smith, who admitted he didn't have the necessary patience.
"Old horses are like old men, too many complaints," he chanted.
David Hayes followed the guidelines of father Colin in many ways, including the edict "the future belongs to those who plan for it". For a time David lost momentum when establishing his training centre at Euroa, but now is back on track.
Obviously Jack Denham was a one-off and would have thrown money off the Harbour Bridge rather than shout the media but that didn't detract from his skill with thoroughbreds. However, the record shows he won more races when son Allan was in the operation. Maybe he is low key but Allan is carrying on the family tradition.
Former outstanding jockey Gary Moore put on the previous soiree of significance when he launched his training career in Sydney. Even with the polish of his mother Iris and the drive of his father George, Gary later found Macau a happier hunting ground.
Words with steak and booze are good but nothing beats winning.