He stretched his trainer's budget as a yearling and he's stretched his patience ever since, but the talented gelding Red Inca has begun to make it all worthwhile.
Trainer Ray Besanko will set Red Inca for the Group One Australian Guineas (1600m) following his win in Saturday's Seascay Handicap (1410m) at Flemington, a success he described as "more special than you know".
"That was for my Dad who taught me everything," Besanko said.
"He's not going so well, but he'll be watching."
Besanko's father Jack trained a string of good horses including the 1962 Sydney Cup winner Grand Print and his grandfather, also Jack, was a successful trainer in the 1930s and 1940s.
Ray Besanko is hoping Red Inca has the ability to join the list of the family's stars.
"We paid $90,000 for him two years ago at the Magic Millions and that was about $10,000 more than our limit," he said.
"But it doesn't matter now, we've got it back and we've got a good horse to go on with.
"I think he's got the makings of a really good one."
For all his talents, Red Inca has presented some problems for his trainer and regular jockey Peter Mertens who has ridden him at each of his eight starts.
"He's been a lot of hard work," Mertens said.
"Even today he kicked out the back of the gate and got his leg caught up.
"But he got the job done in the end."
Red Inca ($7) benefited from the strong pace and proved too strong in the drive to the line, scoring by a half neck from General Groove ($16) with Haussmann ($14) a long head away in third.
Besanko said he would run next in the Group Three C S Hayes Stakes at Flemington on February 16 and then the Guineas on March 2.