And the Trust In A Gust team thought they had fun picking off VOBIS Gold bonuses last racing season.
On Sunday they experienced the sweet taste of Group 1 victory with the tough entire, who scored a dramatic win in the Bendigo Bank East Malvern Sir Rupert Clarke Charity Cup (1400m) at Caulfield.
The four-year-old warrior provided Darren Weir with his first Group 1 in his home state and young jockey Damian Lane with his maiden success at the highest level when he won the $400,000 event.
Adding to the drama, he had to survive a protest from runner-up Dissident before being declared the winner.
Weir, whose four previous Group 1 victories had come in Adelaide, could not have asked to bring up the milestone win in more fitting fashion.
“It’s a great thrill, they’re a great bunch of people and he’s a great little trier,” Weir said.
“It’s a great thrill for me to get one finally in Victoria, we hadn’t been able to do it, so to do it with little horse has been a great thrill with everyone that’s involved.
“He was bought by (bloodstock agent) John Foote who works for us, Jeremy (Rogers, racing manager) liked him and he was ridden by Damian, who does a lot of work for us.
“It’s just good for everyone involved. It’s great.”
Trust In A Gust, a $45,000 yearling purchase, collected $240,000 for his win, his ninth overall the third from four starts this time in.
It took to $865,400 total earnings for the son of Keep The Faith, who won more than $400,000 in a stellar three-year-old season that yielded three rich VOBIS Gold Premier Series victories.
He made that restricted form look good when he held off the Peter Moody-trained Dissident, who had logged Group 1 wins at his only two starts of the season, to score.
That pair engaged in a thrilling duel over the final 100m and while Dissident, who carried the 58kg top weight, had his head in front at the 50m Trust In A Gust (52kg) fought back and had his head down on the line.
Lane was made to sweat before celebrating victory after Dissident’s rider Ben Melham protested for interference at the 1200m mark, an objection stewards swiftly dismissed.
The decision paved the way for the 21-year-old native of Perth to celebrate the biggest win of his career.
“When I first came here Darren was one of my biggest supporters and probably helped me through my apprenticeship with a horse called Platelet,” Lane said.
“She took me through a tough time in my apprenticeship and it’s good to be getting on the big stage for him here a couple of years later.”
Trust In A Gust’s next start is now likely to be in another Group 1 race at Caulfield – the 1600m Toorak Handicap – which will be run on 11 October.