When Tin Chooks commenced his current campaign last December, his trainer Kieran Regan was keen to test the waters and have a few private questions answered.

Chief amongst Regan’s queries was whether Tin Chooks could develop into a consistent city horse or would he have to lower the bar and temper his expectations.

Despite modest results, one maiden win at Belmont, Regan saw something in his horse that was more than a trainer’s blind faith, there were flashes of promise.

Four months later and eight starts in, Regan has got his answer: Tin Chooks is a pretty good horse, in fact, he could be a pretty good horse, four straight wins and a lethal turn of foot his alibi.

The Hvasstan four-year-old commenced his succession of wins at Pinjarra, but it was his first Saturday success at Ascot last month with 58.5kg that drew strong attention.

As reinforcement that focus reached a peak a week later when Tin Chooks captured his first stakes victory with a powerhouse finish in the Listed Old Comrade Stakes (1600m).

Fair to say, Regan, a young hobby trainer, is more than a little pleased with the progress of Tin Chooks.

“We all sat down at the start of this prep and said this is going to have to be his maturing and hardening prep,” Regan said to The Races WA.

“It was to see whether we’ve got something or not this prep, there was no point in mucking around anymore.

“He’s rising five, so it was either make it or don’t make it, we’ve got a provincial or country horse, what have we got.

“It was this campaign that we had to find something or else move on and figure where we are going to run him.

“But, sure enough we’ve got to Listed level and it’s been a defining campaign, absolutely, absolutely.”

With raised ambitions comes heightened expectations, but Regan welcomes the attention.

“For me personally there is no pressure,” Regan said.

“This is just enjoyable for me and what is to be will be.

“You’ve got to be in a good position to have pressure put on you.

“All I want to do is wake up every morning and work a couple of horses at home or at the beach.

“That’s enjoyment for me.”

Regan said Tin Chooks felt the effects of his last run, but was confident of another top display in Thursday’s Diggers Cup (1800m).

“Last one he knew he went around, the seven day back-up, the first time we had ever done it.” Regan said.

“It’s a good test, but he gets in with a good weight.

“I’m very mindful of how many runs we’ve given him and he’s showing little signs of that, but I can’t fault him.

“He hasn’t stopped eating and his work has been great between.

“I have no doubt he will get there in fine order.”

Tin Chooks carries 56.5kg for Steven Parnham in the Diggers Cup.

Julio Santarelli