IT'S uncanny how often horses that take a long time to win their first race can then win again at their next start.
Longford trainer Troy Blacker is hoping his promising four-year-old Artie Luvstoparty will be the next to fall into that category.
After finally breaking his maiden status at Mowbray three weeks ago, Artie Luvstoparty will chase successive wins at Elwick on Sunday.
He will be confronted by a heavy 10 track when he tackles the Benchmark 62 Handicap but, under those conditions, his wide barrier will be an advantage.
Blacker has always had a good opinion of Artie Luvstoparty and didn't expect the gelding to take 11 starts to break through.
``He let me down a few times by doing a few things wrong,'' the trainer said.
``I knew he was a good galloper at home and I kept telling his owners that, so it was a bit frustrating that he wasn't winning.
``I knew he was better than a maiden.''
When Artie Luvstoparty finally did put it all together, he did in style, winning by 4-1/2 lengths.
Artie Luvstoparty was bred by former Tote Tasmania boss Terry Clarke who retains ownership with several partners.
The gelding is by Artie Schiller, winner of the group 1 Breeders Cup in the US, from Design Academy, a winner of five races in Tasmania and a placegetter at Sandown.
Clarke has shared Blacker's frustration with Artie Luvstoparty.
``He's taken a while to get there but now that he's broken through and done it so well, hopefully it will give him confidence,'' the owner said.
``I think confidence has been an issue for him _ he spooks at everything.
``His mother liked wet tracks so that might be the key to this horse as well.''
Sunday's eight-race meeting has attracted 89 final acceptors, with the rescheduled Think Pink Cup _ postponed last month due to an unsafe track _ the feature event.