Trainer Saab Hasan (Image: Racing Photos)
When the time came for Darren Weir's horses to be dispersed earlier this year, Sirius Suspect wasn't towards the head of the list that most trainers would have dreamed of picking up.
He had won four races, but his record paled in comparison to come of the galaxy of stars that Weir had in his care.
But to Saab Hasan, acquiring the four-year-old was akin to some trainers being gifted Humidor or Nature Strip or Verry Elleegant.
It was not only an endorsement of the Flemington trainer's operation from one of the country's biggest syndicators, Darren and Liz Dance's Australian Thoroughbred Bloodstock, but it backed the way he has operated with a previous client.
Replacement trainers were chosen via an owners' vote when ATB was forced to find new homes for the horses and Hasan was chuffed his efforts with a modestly-performed gelding helped him get recognised.
"We had a horse here called Revolutionary that never really made it, but one of the ladies that bred him came to our (stable) party one year and was so impressed with the way that we treated her and her horse, that she put our name down on the vote," Hasan said.
"She strongly pushed a few people to vote for us and, henceforth, we outvoted everyone and that's how we got the horse.
"It's massive for us. We've had a couple of good horses, one of them being Shoreham, our flagbearer, but syndicators like you to have a couple of good horses before they have confidence and faith that they can give you a horse.
"They've got a business to run and it's not just them that they may want to give you a horse, but their owners have to follow suit.
"To have Darren Dance do what he did, we're very honoured and very grateful, and hopefully we can repay him back shortly."
Hasan is confident that could be as soon as this weekend with Sirius Suspect to contest the $75,000 L.V. Lachal Handicap at his new home track this Saturday.
Although he came to Hasan a winner of four of 11 starts, the son of Wanted retained a tendency to over-race, which is something the team at Hasan Racing immediately set to work on.
A solid sixth placing over 1100m at Caulfield when on debut for the stable was followed by a 1200m third placing at Listed level at Flemington, which convinced Hasan he was ready for 1400m.
WATCH: Sirius Suspect's last start
"When we first got him he was a bit of a hard-pulling horse, so we focussed on just getting him to relax in trackwork. We've achieved that feat because everyone's done a lot of hard work with him," he said.
"Now he's going like a horse that's looking for a bit more ground, so we're stretching him out from 1200 to 1400, which I think will suit him on Saturday.
"If I'm a good judge, all the indications are there that the horse is looking for 1400. Plus, he's bred to run 1400 metres being out of a Galileo mare."
Sirius Suspect, who will be ridden by Fred Kersley, has been backed from $9.50 into $6.50 second favouritism in BetEasy's Lachal Handicap market.
Hasan is keen for a positive showing not only to repay ATB's faith, but also affirm his thoughts about where Sirius Suspect might fit in during spring.
"If we can get him out in distance to a mile, which I think we can, there's no reason he can't knock off a Group 3 or a Listed race in the spring," he said.