Times don't get any easier for Patinack Farm trainer John Thompson, but rapidly improving stayer Tremec has given him something to smile about with a gallant Chairman's Handicap win at Randwick.
The four-year-old raced himself into Sydney Cup contention with a solid staying performance to win the 2600 metre Group Two feature on Saturday.
His victory came just a day after it was announced Nathan Tinkler's entire racing stable will be sold at public auction next month.
Thompson has continued to get the job done in spite of trying circumstances and Tremec's win was a timely showcase of his horsemanship.
"It's been a tough last few weeks, but he (Tinkler) has been a great supporter of mine," Thompson said.
"He's got some lovely horses and this bloke is one of them.
"Our guys just do our job until Nathan tells us otherwise."
The Chairman's was Tremec's first run in a month after his barriers manners cost him a vital lead-up in the Manion Cup when he was scratched at the starting stalls.
While there is little doubt Thompson's training nous was a big factor in getting Tremec fit enough to win on Saturday, he deflected praise to the gelding and jockey Craig Newitt.
"It was an 11 out of 10 ride," Thompson said.
"I've got to give the horse big credit too. He'd had a month between runs."
Thompson confirmed Tremec would press on to the Sydney Cup in two weeks with Newitt declaring he would be "a genuine chance".
Tremec ($31) scored by a half-neck from Blood Brotha ($101), who will also press on to the Sydney Cup, with Aliyana Tilde ($14) third.
Hathras was heavily backed from $2.80 to $2.40, but weakened to finish sixth after going to the lead in a midrace move.
Jockey Jim Cassidy felt he didn't cope with the seven-day back up from the BMW.
"He travelled sweet in the run. It was probably just the back-up," Cassidy said.