Racing in career best form, Hidden Dragon four-year-old Stable Star is, said respected Stawell trainer Terry O'Sullivan well named.
"He is out stable star at the moment!" he said after the gelding's particularly tough victory in the 2500m handicap at Moonee Valley on Saturday.
Settling up a good pace taking an early lead in the staying contest, Stable Star had his rivals off the bit approaching the turn but when strongly challenged by Angelology carrying 3kg less he looked to be in danger of defeat.
However, he was not to be defied - digging deep, finding the line in determined style to record his first metropolitan victory.
Big odds considering his game second last weekend to up-and-comer Use The Lot, Stable Star is a horse who "has always shown nice ability."
"He has just taken a while to learn what it is all about," O'Sullivan said - noting that the bay had a nervous habit of holding his breath in races.
"When he ran second last at Mildura three starts ago I was ready to sack him," O'Sullivan admitted but he was buoyed by the confidence of jockey Michelle Payne who told him the run under the circumstances was better than it looked.
Obviously taking a liking to female jockeys, Stable Star was ridden on Saturday by Nikita McLean who was always confident during the race.
"He jumped well and relaxed beautifully," she said, "and I was able to up the tempo from the 1000m as I knew he was strong last week and I knew he would be again."
"I wanted to be in front at the turn as I knew he'd be hard to run down."
Terry O'Sullivan is a fan of the Hidden Dragon breed, training several of his winners including Group 2 Bill Stutt winner Hollowlea.
Bred by Unifaith Bloodstock, Stable Star is out of the city winning Zabeel mare Squeel and he is a full brother to Faithfully who won just last week at Kranji.
Fellow Hidden Dragon four-year-old Saddleback was also in winning form on Saturday, the Tony Gollan trained gelding appreciating a step up to a mile at the Sunshine Coast - racing away to a soft 1 1/4 length victory, his second from just seven starts.