He knew branching out on his own was never going to be easy, but Bryce Heys won't get a better chance to shed the monkey off his back than at Kembla Grange on Tuesday.
John O'Shea's right-hand man for six years is only a few months into his own training venture and will saddle up Electric Dee Jay and Major Major in search of his first winner.
"It's every bit as tough as I imagined it would be, but I love it and am thriving on it [though]," Heys said.
"I've got about 15 in work and I've had a big year at the yearling sales. We're probably 12 months away from hitting the mark, but my staff are magnificent which is probably the most pleasing aspect of it."
Heys has admonished himself for Major Major's defeat at Kembla last time out.
The five-year-old loomed to win a Class 2 Handicap 10 days ago, but was found a little wanting over the final furlong before holding on for third.
"It was probably trainer error," Heys said. "I didn't think he would sprint as quick as he did. He was formerly with another trainer and when they've been out to a mile-and-a-half they lose a lot of speed in their legs.
"I've just tried to keep him fresh along with building with his fitness. We were really happy with his first-up run, we thought he'd run well and he did.
"I just didn't think he would sprint as quick as he did and I told Mitchell [Bell] to get going on him and it probably cost him the race."
Heys's other chance, Electric Dee Jay, was formerly under the care of O'Shea and will have his first start for his new stable.
The three-year-old has bumped into some handy horses of late like Rock Hero, Traitor and Singing Flame, but Heys wants to instil some confidence back in the horse.
"Even a horse like Order Of The Sun who is a metropolitan class horse, he ran him to a lip and has beaten him," Heys said.
"The horse does have ability . . . it's just extracting it.
"He probably needs to come back in grade and build a little confidence and there won't be too many excuses for him [on Tuesday]."