Bendigo trainer Shaun Dwyer made the return trip from Sydney on Sunday a proud man.
While he'd left his retired stable star Miss Leonidas in Sydney to start her breeding career, Dwyer could look back with fondness on a journey that netted the sprinting mare five wins, six placings and a tick over $825,000 in stakemoney.
"She hasn't been the easiest horse to train,'' Dwyer said.
"I take my hat off to my daughter Sally, who has been brilliant with her. (Trackwork rider) Johnny Keating has been terrific as has Phil Dean (stable foreman). (Shaun's son) Junior played a part with her early on. It's been a real team effort to get the horse to where we got her."
"We've had issues with her, but in some ways I think she's made me a better trainer."
Miss Leonidas went within a whisker of a fairy tale finish when she ran second in Saturday's Group One Galaxy (1100m) at Rosehill.
The five-year-old led the race from the start to within metres of the finish line only to be pipped on the post by I Am Excited.
"If you can't win, it doesn't get much better than that,'' Dwyer said.
"She's been close to winning two Group One races (second to Nature Strip in the Moir Stakes last September).
"She's a horse with a lot of ability, she's physically resilient and she's very, very fast."
Despite such a brilliant run on Saturday, Dwyer was content with the decision to conclude her racing career.
"I'm happy with the decision to retire her,'' he said.
"We could have gone to the next Group One over 1200m and she probably would have ran a nice race and finished sixth or seventh.
"She's a speed horse best suited to 1000m or 1100m and she's had a great career. The time was right for her to finish up.
"She'll go on now and produce some quality horses."
Miss Leonidas will follow a similar path to Dwyer's dual group One-winning mare Regimental Gal.
"It looks like there'll be a 50 per cent change in ownership and she'll be sent to one of the better studs in New South Wales to stand for the rest of her career," Dwyer said.
Dwyer's next stable star could be two-year-old filly Classy Gal, who could make her debut in Saturday's Gold Rush at Bendigo.
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