Australian Bloodstock director Luke Murrell believed his syndication's colours and their main trainer, Newcastle's Kris Lees, were due some luck in a big race.
So on Saturday at Moonee Valley when All-Star Mile favourite Arcadia Queen was scratched, then the heavens, and a gap in the straight, opened for stable star Mugatoo, it seemed like their fortunes were finally balancing out.
Mugatoo did the rest, powering to victory in the $5 million race to hand Lees and Australian Bloodstock one of their biggest wins.
A proven wet-track performer, Mugatoo travelled nicely behind the lead but jockey Hugh Bowman struggled to find an opening on the home turn.
The space appeared as they straightened and Mugatoo relished the Soft 6 surface to outsprint Russian Camelot to a half-length win. The track was a Good 3 before the rain came, just in time.
"I kept looking at the sky all morning waiting for it to come. Certainly, it enhanced our chances," Lees said on Saturday.
The win sparked emotional celebrations trackside for Lees' team and connections back in the Hunter.
"It's really good for Fred," Murrell said of Lees on Sunday. "We've had so much bad luck in some of those big races. Just little things ... he could have won five or six of them and you walk away with nothing.
"Finally we had a bit of luck when the gap opened up, and it's a different result."
Mugatoo has been a revelation under Lees after a wind operation in the UK in 2019 delayed his move to Australia. He gave Lees a first Newcastle Cup last September, then was runner-up in the group 1 Metropolitan and a luckless fourth in the Cox Plate.
For Lees, the $2.25 million cheque on Saturday was second only to Lucia Valentina's $2.4 million payday in the 2016 Queen Elizabeth Stakes at Randwick.
Australian Bloodstock's highlight is winning the 2014 Melbourne Cup with Protectionist, but Murrell said the All-Star Mile success was special for how far six-year-old Mugatoo had come from two wins in six UK starts.
"He wasn't an obvious one when we bought him," he said. "He was a bit left field and you probably get a bit more enjoyment out of those ones because they are not the unbeaten horse or one that's just won a big group race.
"He'd basically won nothing so to win the richest mile race, it's a really good result."
Murrell said Mugatoo would now go to the $4 million Queen Elizabeth Stakes (2000m) at Randwick on April 10 then possibly the $1.2 million Q22 (2200m) at Eagle Farm on June 12. That would leave a short let-up before another Cox Plate campaign.
"It's four weeks, he goes really good fresh and he had a fair bit of improvement in him," he said.
"Hopefully there's something left in him, but he's won nine from 18, so he's a line-chaser and a winner."
Lees said on Saturday: "To get a quality horse like this come into your stable is every trainer's dream. I'm very fortunate."
He described the win as one of the biggest thrills of his career.
"The race has been really well received, and the roar went up when the gates opened, even with a restricted crowd," he said.
"It is putting its footprint on racing now. It's right up there, a great concept and great to be a part of it."
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AAP report on Saturday: Hugh Bowman added an another unforgettable Moonee Valley moment to one of the most decorated resumes in Australian racing after winning the All-Star Mile on Mugatoo.
Responding to a precise piece of horsemanship that ranks up with the best on a bulging highlight reel for the Sydney jockey, Mugatoo squeezed between runners to claim the race.
Bowman is famous for his association with Winx and mostly he was merely a passenger as the champion mare made Moonee Valley her own with four WS Cox Plate triumphs between 2015-2018.
Suffice to say he had to work much harder for his slice of the $5 million on offer in the All-Star Mile as he duelled with Melbourne's champion jockey Damien Oliver.
As Bowman sat in a pocket on Mugatoo when the field swept around the turn, Oliver made his move on Russian Camelot, a heavily backed $4.20 second favourite.
But without losing his mount's momentum, Bowman's patience was rewarded with an opening at the top of the straight and Mugatoo did the rest, beating Russian Camelot by a half length.
Behemoth ($15) who tried to lead all the way, held on to finish third.
It could easily rate as one Bowman's best rides during a career that includes 97 group 1 wins but as always the 40-year-old carried himself with the modesty that has been a hallmark of more than two decades in the saddle.
"Sometimes the best options are when you don't have any," Bowman said.
"Damien Oliver is someone I have looked up to from a very young age and I've had the privilege to ride competitively against him for a long time now," Bowman said.
"I could sense him waiting for me to run into trouble and then all of a sudden I had a nice gap which appeared in front of me."
Mugatoo is the latest in a long list of horses the prominent syndicator Australian Bloodstock has imported from the UK and Europe.
While the rain put paid to the favourite, the New Zealand-trained Probabeel ($3.50), Lees said it played a crucial in Mugatoo's win.
"I kept looking at the sky all morning waiting for it to come. Certainly, it enhanced our chances," he said.
Probabeel's rider Damian Lane said the mare never handled the track.
The All-Star Mile, with most of the field decided by a public vote, is the richest race of the Australian autumn.
But it was run without the voting's most popular horse, the brilliant Perth mare Arcadia Queen.
Arcadia Queen failed a veterinary test on race morning after battling lameness throughout the week.