Trainer Danny O'Brien is confident Belle Couture will make it in group class despite her defeat on debut at Bendigo on Sunday.
The $2.6 million yearling buy - a half-sister to champion sprinter Black Caviar - was beaten a short half-head by the Greg Eurell-trained Paddy's Gem in the three-year-old fillies' maiden plate (1100 metres).
''She'll take a lot of benefit from that run,'' O'Brien said. ''She's not a rip-and-tear sprinter like Black Caviar. Today showed she's going to be better suited out over 1400m or a mile.
''That's probably a good thing because there's more options at those distances. Obviously we would have liked her to win … but we'll find another maiden for her now. I'd be very surprised if she didn't measure up to group races in the spring.''
Jockey Damien Oliver settled the filly midfield before making his run around the home turn. The daughter of Redoute's Choice and Helsinge hit the front at the 200m and looked set for victory.
However, fellow first-starter Paddy's Gem ($7), ridden by Bendigo hoop Brad Rawiller, wore down the $1.50 favourite in the shadows of the post.
''I wasn't disappointed with the run,'' Oliver said. ''Once she got to the front she waited a bit, but she kept fighting and on the line she was coming back … If the race had have been further she probably wins. It's not the worst thing that could happen. All the hype is out of the road and she can get on with being a racehorse.''
Rawiller was confident the form from the maiden would be strong. ''I thought I had the race won when we headed [Belle Couture], but she showed a lot of fight to come back at us.''
Jetwings powers up
Although he is still a few days away from making his debut, the form around Jetwings could be a pointer to his Magic Millions chances.
The Gerald Ryan-trained colt beat Kumaon by 5¼ lengths in a barrier trial earlier this month and will have his first start at Canterbury on Saturday.
Darley colt Kumaon overcame difficulties to run out an impressive winner of the Golden Gift at Rosehill on Saturday, giving Ryan confidence in his charge.
''He will go to Canterbury and all going to plan he then goes to the Magic Millions two weeks later,'' Ryan said.
The 1200m Canterbury race will include Nordic Empire, the equal second favourite for the summer's richest race, the $2 million Magic Millions Classic on January 11. Caulfield trainer Mick Price was pleased with Nordic Empire's work when running clockwise on Saturday.