Massage therapy seems to have done the trick for Marcus Cassius with the gelding winning on debut at Scone on Tuesday.
Trained at Tamworth by Craig Martin, the three-year old is "a project pony" for son, and stable foreman, Liam.
And he has been a project.
Originally purchased at the Magic Millions, Liam brought him on the Inglis Digital sale about four months ago.
"I brought him there as my project pony and syndicated him out," he said.
"When we first got him home he had a lot of problems."
"He was basically unrideable."
The secret to the transformation has been a bit of massage therapy, the gelding improving ever since the equine massage therapist his dad gets to come over from Bali, worked with him.
"He comes over every three to four months. He did a dentistry course with dad a few years ago and they've stayed friends," Liam said.
He was on hand to see Marcus Cassius salute in the Thrifty Car Rentals 3YO Maiden Plate (1000m).
It was a huge thrill, and also a bit of a relief. In charge with his dad "down at the sales", Liam said he was "stressing all morning".
"I was worried about the transfer. We wanted to keep him at Tamworth for his first start," he said.
The meeting was originally meant to be run at Tamworth on Monday but was transferred to Scone.
But he needn't have worried, the gelding jumping pretty much straight to the front and holding off a fast-finishing Confinement (Cameron Crockett) and Mathematics (Allan Denham) to win by just over half a length.
"He's a pretty speedy pony," he said.
"We basically told Sam (Clenton) to put him where he's comfortable and go from there. He was comfortable at the front."
There aren't firm plans for him yet. They were just waiting to see how Tuesday went.
"He's always going to improve off that run," Liam said.
"He was very green in that run. He started to prick his ears and shy at the winning post, which was expected being his first run."
It has been a good few days for the stable with Royal Villa providing his Walcha owners with a home town win when taking out the Peter Norbury Motors & Lows Petroleum Benchmark 58 Handicap (1700m) at Friday's Walcha Cup meeting.
[Craig] Martin also picked up a second and a third.