GREAT WESTERN - Troublesome galloper, Jeunelism, finally looks destined to reward his owners for their patience, after winning the Best's Eric Thomson Memorial Trophy at Great Western on Saturday.
In a career that has netted just two wins previously, Jeunelism is now in the hands of his fifth trainer in five years and finally, everything seems to be falling into place.
Part owner Russell Cocks said it had been a frustrating journey with the gelding, but a win like that on Saturday makes it all worthwhile.
"He has been a difficult horse to train," Cocks said.
"He is seven years old now and has had five trainers. He's very headstrong and no-one could handle him."
Enter Ballarat trainer Shay Brown and suddenly, Jeunelism is showing maturity and best of all, some signs of form.
"Shay's only had him a couple of months and he seems to have settled down a lot," Cocks said.
"She has him going well, so we were fairly confident going into Great Western."
Cocks was full of praise for the ride of Ben Knobel, who saved plenty of ground taking inside runs with Jeunelism.
"He rode the horse a treat and never left the rails. I think that was the difference in the end," Cocks said.
Jeunelism, which is by 1994 Melbourne Cup winner Jeune, strung together two wins in a month, at Geelong on Boxing Day, 2012 and then at Casterton in January last year. He ran an excellent race at Stawell in a Benchmark 64 event in September last year and that's the type of form Cocks is hoping the gelding can regain.
"Our trouble is, without him winning, he's only a 58 rated horse and there's a lot of competition for that class of race," he said.
"He ran at Kyneton a couple of weeks before Great Western and wouldn't settle. He doesn't really travel that well. That's why Great Western was perfect, it was only about an hour trip.
"We are hoping he can win another one now and keep climbing up in the ratings. Another win would see him at a 62 rating and then we can start planning more.
"Everyone dreams of getting to the city with their horses, but I'm more than happy seeing him run around the country tracks for now.
"Hopefully before too long, he will be lining up in some nice Benchmark 64 races or similar. That's the plan definitely.
"In the longer term, he might just develop into a country cups horse next season and if so, the Great Western Cup would certainly be on the radar."