Heart of Puissance wins the PFD Food Services Plate at Flemington (Image: Racing Photos)
Heart Of Puissance still wanted to do things his own way, but the emerging staying managed to put his rivals away with ease at Flemington on Saturday.
Ridden by Jamie Kah and embraced by punters as the firm $2.10 favourite, Heart Of Puissance still wanted to run around as he surged to the lead in the home straight but he had more than three lengths on his rivals when he cruised to the line at his first try at 2500 metres.
"He’s a funny horse," Kah observed later. "As soon as I went for the whip he wanted to lay out so I put it away."
Heart Of Puissance was chased to the line by the game Sign Seal Deliver ($13) with a further three lengths to Vividredsky ($16) in third place.
Co-trainer Dave Eustace said Heart Of Puissance was still taking his time putting things together after a history of mishaps but that the future looked bright.
"I want to thank the team so much with this horse," he said. "He’s taken an awful lot of work behind the scenes just to get him here. He has taken a lot of work and he’s starting to repay it.
"We’re just going to tick him through the grades. That was an 84 (benchmark) today and he’s going to go to high 80s.
"There’s a really nice program for staying horses through winter here at Flemington so we’ll do that. There’s another race back here on June 5 so hopefully he pulls up okay as he takes a bit of managing.
"He’s taken a while to get up and racing so we’ll try and space his racing if the weather allows."
It was Kah’s first ride on Heart Of Puissance and she said the easy win had its moments.
"We almost clipped heels he was travelling so well," she said.
"I was hoping Sign Seal Deliver would take us a bit further and it didn’t. In the end, we had to get to the front sooner than we wanted to.
"Ideally he’s a horse that just wanted to hit the front at the last 200 (metres) but today it was class on his side."