Lightly-tried seven-year-old Kissinger rewarded his connections’ patience with a dogged victory at the Cranbourne stand-alone meeting on Saturday when landing the Reed Cranes & Transport Marathon Handicap (2540m).
The Lindsey Smith-trained gelding was galvanised under a perfect Damien Oliver ride to get the better of pacemaker Nobel Heights and last-start conqueror Port Phillip, who finished third with a 5.5kg turnaround since the pair last clashed.
A son of Tavistock, Kissinger commenced his career in New Zealand with trainer Nigel Tiley, for whom he won two of his first three starts.
Sporting the colours of Spicer Thoroughbreds, Kissinger has now won six races and A$270,000 in prizemoney, but could have more to offer now that he is over a number of issues.
"He's been around the place, I suppose with the weight difference between him and the topweight (Port Phillip), but great ride by the rider (Damien Oliver), obviously he's a champion,” Smith said.
“He stayed a lot closer to the topweight this time with the weight difference. He tried to grab him late last time but had a think about it last time.
"It was good for the owners because they've been patient. I've had him about three years now but he'll keep going and head towards the Bagot (Listed, 2800m).
The Warrnambool trainer said the A$300,000 Listed Pakenham Cup (2500m) on December 3 could be an option despite a fair travel haul from his training base in the south-western coast of Victoria.
"I'll get the passport ready and we'll have a holiday while we're there,” joked Smith.
Winning rider Damien Oliver was surprised with how the race unfolded but pleased to get another win on the handy stayer.
"I didn't expect to be on the fence but I just sort of ended up there. I didn't want to get in a wrestle with the other favourite so I just took my medicine and when they took off early it worked out well for us,” he said.
“I was following a nice horse (Nobel Heights) and I thought we'd be able to get out and outkick him and with the lighter weight he did it well.
"This horse has been good to me, I just got out-bobbed in a photo at Caulfield when we thought we had it won but didn't quite get it (when beaten by Port Phillip).
“I've only had three rides on him for a second and two wins so he's been great for me. He's an older horse but lightly raced, as Lindsey says he has his little issues but he seems to be handling them well at the moment."
Bred by Peter Setchell, Kissinger is by Tavistock, who is represented by three lots at this week’s New Zealand Bloodstock Ready To Run Sale, the last young-stock by the late sire to be offered at public auction.