One-time problem galloper Morvada continued to repay his veteran trainer Peter Jolly for his past indiscretions when he broke through for his first Stakes win in nearly four years at Caulfield on Saturday.
The 76-year-old father of Group 1-winning rider Richard and trainer David, explained that Morvada had quite a bit of ground to make up after kicking him in the face as a three-year-old.
"He's given us a lot of trouble. He nearly killed me - he put me in hospital for 10 days - and he ironed out a jockey so he owes us," Jolly said after Morvada turned the tables on Yulong January to win the Listed Sir John Dillon Stakes.
"He smashed all my face in and knocked my teeth out."
Morvada and Zac Spain, picture Quentinjlang.com
Morvada, who first won a Stakes race in Adelaide in May 2016, took his earnings to more than $420,000 with the victory for jockey Zac Spain and Jolly said he felt there was plenty more to come as he believes the horse has just matured at six years of age.
"They get better with age those Mossmans and he's certainly putting it altogether this preparation," he said.
"He was an expensive yearling, but he's paid his way now.
"He's always had a lot of ability but he's had a lot of leg problems I've had to nurse him through that and he's been out but this is the first preparation I've been able to give him where something hasn't gone wrong with him."
After finishing second to Yulong January at his latest start at Flemington, Morvada ($10) was able to turn the tables on the in-form galloper, beating the $2.25 favourite by a length-and-a-half with a length to Streets Of Avalon ($5) in third place.
As for his future in 2020?
"You never make a decision on race day, so we'll chew it over and see what we do with him," Jolly said.
Jolly, who has held a trainer's licence for 55 years - 'I got my licence the day I turned 21' - said he would think about an entry into the G1 Orr Stakes at Caulfield in two weeks given his liking for the 1400-metre trip.
Making the Caulfield all that more special was that the original purchaser of Morvada is one of Jolly's old school mates, who picked up Morvada as a yearling for $200,000.
"The part-owner (Bob McIntosh), we've raced horses together for over 50 years together. Bob lives in Panama so it's (Orr Stakes tilt) up to him."