New South Wales trainer Mark Lynch is the first to admit the resuming run of new stable acquisition More Than Irish surprised him.
"It was a real good run," Lynch, a former jockey, said.
"He's a 1600 to 2000m horse. It was in a good field. He surprised me a bit."
More Than Irish, owned by Greg Ingham and retail king and thoroughbred fan Gerry Harvey and previously trained by Greg Hickman, rattled home from last to finish third in a 1000m race at Ballina on September 14.
Today, the well-bred 5-year-old by More Than Ready steps up to 1400m in the Black Auto Class 2 Plate on his home track at Grafton.
While Lynch has several horses owned by Greg Ingham, son of the late Jack Ingham, it is his first for Harvey. More Than Irish is an equine giant, standing 17 hands and weighing in at more than 550kg.
"We had him for about 2 months before his first-up run," Lynch said yesterday.
He got to the line well.
"He's a nice horse, massive, but a lovely horse to train."
Under Hickman, More Than Irish recorded two wins and five placings from 14 starts, his two victories coming at 1500m and 1600m.
"Hopefully, we've found the right race for him," Lynch said. "The little break he's had [25 days] was trying to find a suitable race for him."
More Than Irish gets in with 59kg under the plate conditions and Brisbane jockey Jason Taylor has the mount.