STAWELL - Stawell horse trainer David Noonan's patience with Lucario has paid off, with the six year old gelding notching up his third career win at Donald last Tuesday.
The win was Lucario's first for Noonan, who had purchased him as a trial horse in Melbourne about nine months ago.
Lucario had previously won races for one of Victoria's leading trainers Mark Kavanagh, but had a few problems upon arrival at the Noonan stable.
The gelding went out for a 22 week spell and following three unsuccessful starts, returned to take out the 1600 metre The Buloke Times Handicap.
Lucario was up with the leaders for most of the way and finding the front on the home straight, stormed to the line to win by two lengths ahead of his nearest rival.
Noonan knew the six year old was close to breaking through for his first win since January 2012.
"His first three runs were short fitness-wise, but he was pretty much spot on for Donald with the dry track and 1600 metre distance. We were pretty confident," he said.
"He won really well. His form before we got him had shown he had some ability, he had won two races at Ballarat and raced okay in South Australia.
"It was just getting him back into that form."
Noonan said Lucario was a 'tired horse' when he arrived in Stawell.
"He had a sore back and sore joints, things that were holding him back so we gave him a break in the paddock until he was ready for racing again.
"We're pretty happy with him really."
Lucario will now either race in Hamilton this Friday, October 4 or head up to Swan Hill on Monday, October 7.