Mister Sea Wolf is particularly special to Noel Greenhalgh and it's the reason the owner will be on a plane from Brisbane on Saturday to be trackside for the gelding's defence of The Gong crown.
The Queensland-based Irishman was delighted with barrier six for his favourite horse and that was enough to have him booking a ticket south.
While he has a share in Reloaded, who also runs in the $1 million Kembla Grange feature, and Bigboyroy, who tackles the opener, Mister Sea Wolf is the reason for the trip.
"The good thing for me is that the race in Wollongong, so I can fly in with the mask on and drive down there to watch them run, if it was in Sydney I wouldn't be able to go," Greenhalgh said.
"Last year was close to the best day I have had on the track, to see him win that race. I have won group 1s, including the Cox Plate with Sir Dragonet, but this horse is special.
"We take great pride in this horse. He tries his heart out every time he goes out. He is probably a length off being a group 1 horse, but that was his group 1.
"It was so emotional to see him win a big race in front of a big crowd.
"He's just awesome, I wish I had a stable full of them."
Mister Sea Wolf went into The Gong a $21 chance last year and is $14 to repeat the feat. The market is led by Golden Eagle placegetter Dawn Passage at $4.60, Purple Sector at $5.50 and Cantala placegetter Rock at $7 but is hard to count Mister Sea Wolf out of any race, even as a nine-year-old.
Greenhalgh knows now why his Irish owners were keen to keep a share when he came to Australia three years ago.
“When we bought him David Spratt wanted to stay in him, which was a good sign. It has been great that [Mister Sea Wolf] has come over here and just been a good horse for all of us,” Greenhalgh said.
“For him to win a $1 million [race] gave them a thrill and it is good to have a positive relationship with trainers over there. I have horses with David and [trainer] Ger Lyons over there now and they know the right horses for out here.”
Mister Sea Wolf had won four races before coming out to Australia and has won another eight for Chris Waller and his team, including the Shannon Stakes and this spring’s Chelmsford Stakes at group 2 level, which has earned him the top weight of 60kg on Saturday.
"He has been managed impeccably by Chris. He needs that four-to-six-week gap to be at his best and he gets that on the weekend," Greenhalgh said. "He's nine but it's like he is a four or five-year-old from all the comments we get from Chris and his trackwork riders.
"He is an outstanding miler, the weight is an issue on Saturday, but you counteract [that] with James McDonald riding.
"I rang him the other day and said I kissed you on the mouth last year, are you ready for that again, he said only if he wins.
"I admit I got excited last year and that’s why I want to go back."