When emerging trainer Daniel Bowman put his hand up to spend $80,000 for a Smart Missile colt at the Inglis Classic Sale in Sydney earlier this year, he did so in the knowledge that there was little chance of a quick return on the sizeable outlay.
But on Saturday, the Warrnambool trainer and a large team of owners who bought into the youngster will travel to Sandown to watch that colt, now known as Mumbles, make a surprising racetrack debut in an iconic spring juvenile black-type race - the Merson Cooper Stakes.
"I didn't buy him as an early runner as I thought he'd develop into a nice three-year-old but he's just managed everything we've thrown at him and it's great to be able to give the owners a chance at an early return," Bowman said on Wednesday.
"I thought we'd have to wait a lot longer (for his debut). We haven't really put the hammer on him to get him here. Every time we've raised the bar, he's handled it so the next logical step was to give him a trial or go to the races and he's going to learn a lot more going to the races.
"He's still quite green and still quite new to it all but everything we've asked him, he's handled it, so it's time to chuck him in the deep end give the owners a look at what we've got."
Saturday's Merson Cooper Stakes provides Mumbles with a golden opportunity to return the owners much of their original outlay as well as position him as a Stakes-winning colt with automatic entry into the rich autumn juvenile events where some serious coin can be made.
Bowman said Mumbles, who will be ridden by Jordan Childs on Saturday, had performed well in unofficial trials at Warrnambool and last week at Mortlake and so was more than happy to test him immediately in Stakes grade.
While there were up to 40 Smart Missiles being offered at the Melbourne Classic Sale and he looked all of them over, Bowman decided Mumbles, out of the Stakes-winning Snippets mare Fumble, was the one he was after.
"I really like him with his breeding of the Fastnet Rock and Snippets cross that has produced some good ones like Hinchinbrook and Wanted," Bowman said.
"The Smart Missiles are not your typical Fastnet Rock line. They are a lot more finer and not as heavy and I just really loved his attitude and his walk and he's a nice, long sort of colt who's probably going to be better suited to 1400 metres down the line.
"We're just sort of hoping on Saturday that he can find his feet midfield and at Sandown, there's a lot of space to balance up and to go through his gears."