If jockey Adam Hyeronimus didn't pilot impressive two-year-old Panzer Division to victory at Kembla Grange on Saturday, he probably would have had his fair share of excuses.
The colt raced green as grass at his first visit to the track, veering towards the outside fence in the straight in Saturday's two-year-old Maiden (1200 metres).
But Hyeronimus refused to panic.
The hoop's guile kept the Paul Messara-trained Redoute's Choice colt on-task long enough to score by a comfortable margin.
"Everything you could think he may have done wrong, he did. And he still won by 3½ and ran home in 34 [seconds]," Hyeronimus said.
"Once he picks it up and maybe settles off them, learns to go straight and sprint home, he will be a very nice horse."
Hyeronimus was forced to find the lead in Saturday's sprint for the juveniles.
Joined at the head of a bunched field by Sobriquet - which had visiting Hong Kong hoop Derek Leung on board - Panzer Division kicked away at the top of the straight and, despite showing he still has a lot to learn, certainly impressed.
Chris Waller's colt Bascule ran home well for second, while well-backed Shaftesbury ($2.90 fav) boxed on strongly for fourth after enduring a tough run, posted four and five wide.
"The plan was to get cover because of the wind but nothing wanted to lead. He jumped into the bridle ... I sort of had to take it up," Hyeronimus said.
"It wasn't by choice. The first couple of furlongs we went quite steady and he sprinted home quite good."
The win was the perfect reward for the Messara stable, who held a good opinion of the colt after two strong trial performances.
"He is very smart. The stable told me before the run that he is a nice horse but obviously it is his first start so he has to prove it," Hyeronimus said.
"It is all right to do it at home but you have got to do it on raceday."
Hyeronimus was predicting big things in the not too distant future for the colt.
"He is quite green so it might come too soon for him [this spring] but if it not this spring, it will be next spring [that he will feature]," he said.
The jockey backed up the win with a double in race five aboard Helnho for the Snowden stable.