Most horses are only as good as what they are fed and no trainer will champion that cause more than Paul Murray.
Savouring a festive season to remember, and enough to fill more than just a few stockings at Hussar's Lodge, Murray has nominated a small change to his team's feed as the catalyst.
"I've changed all my feed around and I'm very happy with it," the Kembla Grange-based horseman said. "You could put it down to that, but we've also got good track riders and we've placed them in the right races."
From when Fair Nation arrived in the nick of time to land a Class 2 Handicap at Kembla in early December, Murray's runners have amassed almost $230,000 in prizemoney from just eight starts.
Highlighted by Alma's Fury's breakthrough win in the Listed Bernborough Handicap at Doomben, Murray's team have hauled in an average of more than $28,000 per race, despite his second-stringers frequenting venues such as Wagga and Moruya.
One key has been Fair Nation, the last lot of the 2010 Magic Millions sales taken in a sole $1500 bid from Murray and partner Michelle Ritchie.
Murray said he was considering an assault on the second leg of a South Coast country cups double with the four-year-old, but wouldn't rule out a Sydney start.
Fair Nation, part-owned by stable helper Todd McDonald, nosed out Quichang for a last-stride win in the Narooma Cup on Monday. He can lift his earnings above $100,000 in the Moruya Cup on January 21.
"I was a bit worried as he took a while to line up, but you could see him coming," Murray said. "That post was getting close quick. When he got that stride coming to the post I knew he was always going to get there because it was a head up head down all the time.
"He needs a strong rider, he's very lazy and you've got to really keep at him."