Few people in Queensland racing circles are surprised New Zealand-bred gelding Victory Eight has been the quiet achiever of the winter carnival.
After all, his trainer Trevor Miller has been a a key player in the state's racing industry with no fuss for decades.
Victory Eight, who has won his past two starts in impressive fashion, steps up to open company in the TAB Handicap (1800m) at Eagle Farm on Saturday.
The gelding is the latest in a long line of smart horses to come out of Miller's Caloundra stables.
Miller originally trained at Cunnamulla in western Queensland before moving to a Caloundra base in 1986.
He has since trained about 1200 winners with at least 800 of them at the Sunshine Coast track where he has been premier trainer 12 times.
Along the way Miller has had a long list of stakes winners including Heavenly Knight, Whale Of A Knight, King Latarmiss, Baal Yabba, Seek Glory, Gilded Queen and Waterford Road.
Miller, now 76, has retained his laconic country style of humour and also kept his eye for a good horse.
He has been adamant for some time Victory Eight would win in at least open company.
Victory Eight, who was purchased as a Ready To Run 2YO out of the draft of Esker Lodge, did his early racing in Victoria for the Ciaron Maher-David Eustace training partnership and won at Bairnsdale before heading north to Miller.