Mister Milton is a labour of love for Norman Waymouth who has spent the past three months devoting his time and energy into getting the horse ready for the Newmarket Handicap.
And it’s not just a pipe dream for the trainer, even though bookmakers rank Mister Milton as an outsider in Saturday’s 1200-metre sprint at Flemington.
“I’m not Darley. I’m not throwing the $10,000 acceptance fee in the air,” Waymouth said.
“I’m not going to waste that sort of money if I don’t think he can get it back.
“I think he can run in the first three.
“This is the first time I’ll be taking him to the races problem-free. He had a disappointing spring and I’ve been concentrating on getting him back to the races hoping we can go on maybe to Queensland in the winter.
“His feet have given him a lot of trouble but he goes to the beach at Mornington and they great.”
For former jockey Waymouth, Mister Milton’s four sixth placings in his spring campaign were down to pilot error.
He has opted for experience in the Newmarket with Darren Gauci to ride.
“Darren has won two Newmarkets and he is riding really well at the moment,” Waymouth said.
“I knew early on we wouldn’t get much weight and that Darren could ride light.”
The three-time Melbourne premiership winning jockey won the race in 1985 on Red Tempo and again in in 1991 on Shaftesbury Avenue but doesn’t get as many Group One rides these days.
In fact his last Group One ride was aboard $81 chance Aeronautical when the Sydney sprinter ran third in the 2013 Newmarket, something Waymouth hopes Gauci can repeat, or even better.
Waymouth, who races Mister Milton with his wife Janine, paid $7500 for the yearling colt and he has repaid the couple by earning more than $300,000 despite winning only two races.
“He has always raced in top company,” Waymouth said.
“That makes him hard to place in the lesser races but I believe there is a big race in him.
“He proved that when he ran third in the Australian Guineas two years ago.”
Waymouth had a successful association with Rancher, trained by his father Charlie, but his second on Sequalo in the 1996 Newmarket counts as the one that got away.
“About four strides from the post another horse put me off balance and Brawny Spirit got up and won,” he said.
“I couldn’t believe it and I’ve never got over it.”