Michael Byers spent eight frustrating years trying to train a winner at Warwick Farm when he was based at the track.
So Who Is Game’s drought-breaking victory will endure as a career highlight.
Byers was rapt as the seven-year-old mare surged clear to claim the Bowermans Office Furniture Handicap (1600m) by 1-1/4 lengths as a $41 outsider on Wednesday.
“I’ve trained 28 seconds here, and she’s cracked it for me,” Byers said.
“She ran second, beaten a short head last time I was down here. Music Magic ran second, She’s A Gypsy ran second …”
Based in Taree for the past 26 years, Byers took out his training licence in 1979 and started out at Warwick Farm.
He racked up metropolitan winners at Canterbury, Rosehill and Randwick yet success at Warwick Farm proved elusive.
Given his record of near misses Byers wasn’t, but never doubted the 52-race veteran’s determination.
“She’s very gallant. I didn’t expect that but I knew she’d run a bold race,” he said.
Byers only has two horses in work and both have paid dividends lately with Who Is Game’s eighth career win complementing Music Magic’s Gloucester Cup triumph at Taree on February 26.
Jockey Tye Angland was delighted to help Byers achieve a long-term goal.
Turnberry ($5) was second and Ready Set Sing, another $41 chance, was three-quarters of a length back in third.