THERE was likely no more relieved person on course at Kyneton on Thursday than George Osborne following the win of Ancient Echoes.
The capable, but quirky five-year-old gelding broke a 697 day drought in winning a benchmark 58 over 1450m.
Ancient Echoes had gone 13 starts without a win before his breakthrough on Thursday.
While not all of those starts were under the guidance of Osborne, eight of them were, leaving the astute Kyneton trainer to question whether an overdue victory would ever come.
"He's a big handful ... he's caused us grief from day one with little issues," Osborne told Racing.com.
"Coming off the track he's very hard to handle and he lays in bad under pressure. He shouldn't lay in under pressure because he's bigger than all of them and he should be stronger than all of them.
"For some reason he doesn't realise he is."
On his home track and back in grade, and with in-form jockey Linda Meech in the saddle, the timing and ingredients proved right for Ancient Echoes.
"Barrier one was ideal. The only other speed in the race was (Inner Demons) and once she missed the start a little bit there was no pressure at all," said Osborne, who notched his 26th win for the season.
"That made life a lot easier.
"I still think he was looking for a bit of a way out, but fortunately we got away with it."
Ancient Echoes, who was previously trained by Darren Weir, last won a race as a three-year-old at Morphettville in March 2018.
The victory gave Meech the second leg of a double following her earlier success on the Trent Busuttin and Natalie Young-trained filly Bella Bee.
Despite the gelding's unpredictability, Meech hinted she was always confident of success from barrier one.
"The benefit of drawing barrier one is you don't have to do anything on him and he relaxes better, whereas when he draws out (wider) he makes a beeline for the fence and doesn't care what's inside of him," she said.
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