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From Villain to Victor

Trainer Mark Kavanagh rightly describes Kingdom of Dreams as "a bit of a villain" but he is a talented one nonetheless. His win at Moonee Valley on Saturday was his third consecutive for the preparation despite some rather counter productive pre-race antics.

The son of Fastnet Rock has always shown his trainer that he has good ability but his poor behaviour on race day has, until now, stopped him from realising his potential.

And while Kingdom of Dreams behaviour at the races has settled to a degree he still throws what amounts to an 'equine tantrum' when it comes time for the rider to mount and his safe arrival at the barriers has been contingent on a well executed plan by strapper, jockey and clerk of the course.

There were some anxious moments again on Saturday as the team encouraged a hot and bothered Kingdom of Dreams out onto the Moonee Valley track but after some initial reluctance he agreed to travel to the gates with his regular rider Damian Lane safely ensconced in the saddle.

The four-year-old was slow to begin and settled one off the fence a little worse than mid-field. He was behind a wall of horses as the field bunched on the home turn but he showed a superior turn of foot when a run presented and swept past Moscow Pearl to win running away. At the post he held a length margin over the lightly-weighted Moscow Pearl with Mightiest beaten three lengths in third.

"He tests the friendship, he can be a bit willing pre-race. I thought before today he was getting a bit better but today he was a bit awkward, but to his credit he still does the job," Lane told reporters after the race.

"You just have to be calm and trust the people you're working with. Leo does an exceptional job with him, his strapper, and Des the clerk of the course knows him really well and probably without that group of people you'd struggle to get him to the barriers."

Trainer Mark Kavanagh paid tribute to Lane who has steered Kingdom of Dreams to four of his six wins.

"He rides him terrific this boy. Last time (at Bendigo) I was concerned he led all the way but he can put him where he wants sort of thing, but he was a bit fractious (today) that's why he was so slow away."

All going well Kingdom Of Dreams could have his next start at Flemington on Saturday the 13th of December.

More images of Kingdom of Dreams Gallery 2

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