You've got to love it when a plan comes off.
Tamworth trainer Craig Martin experienced that at Rosehill Gardens on Saturday with Tavion Prince holding off the Michael Sparrow-trained Tuscan Light and fellow Tamworth trainer, Cody Morgan's Bajan Gold, to win the $75,000 TAB Highway Class 3 Plate (1800m) in a photo.
No stranger to Highway success, Martin had targetted the race for the five-year old.
"They don't come up very often, especially those 1800m Highway races," he said.
"He was definitely looking for 2000-plus metres but we kept him shorter distances around the bush here for a while leading him up to it."
Coming off two third placings in his last two starts - the second ironically in a photo - Martin thought Tavion Prince was "ripe for the picking" to run a solid race.
"When the scratchings came out we knew he was always going to be up there on the pace, and he was, just sitting outside the leader."
"But the leader dropped off a bit too quick and he hit the front too quick," he said.
"The rest of them had plenty of time to get past him but they couldn't grind him down."
"He just kept grinding away."
After hitting the front with around 350 to go, the gelding, with Rachel King aboard, had a wall of challengers chasing him but fought on strongly for "a good tough win".
"One (Tuscan Light) snuck up the fence," Martin said.
"It was basically a bob of the head. I got the bob in for a change."
The official margin was 0.1 lengths, with Bajan Gold another 0.3 lengths back after, from back about third last coming into the turn, flashing home on the outside.
Saturday was Tavion Prince's sixth start for Martin. He brought the one-time Australian Derby runner through the Inglis online sale from Patrick Payne's stable a bit over four months ago.
With the longer distance races a lot harder to come by, Martin has no firm plans.
"He probably won't race until the end of the month," he said.
"I'll just have a look around. There's a few options but it just involves getting in the car and going for a four or five hour trip."
"But we'll let the horse do the talking."
"He's done what he's supposed to do so anything from now is a bit of a bonus."
"We'll give him one more run and if he races nice and genuine we'll keep going and wait for this winter to get over and the grass to start growing a bit more and (it to) warm up, and give him a bit of a break."
Martin has Swara and Boat Harbour nominated for Tuesday's Quirindi meeting, but is waiting to see what the weather does.