It took him 16 starts but Goats on Oats finally won his maiden at Benalla.

His name is as unusual as he is consistent with the five-year-old weighing in at all but two of his runs with hopes that Saturday’s victory will be a confidence booster for him.

Ridden by Mitch Aitken, punters rallied behind the gelding who started the shortest price his career after being backed in from $1.60- to 1.45 in the McDonalds Euroa Maiden Plate (1606m) but there were some anxious moments.

After settling seven lengths off the lead and worse than midfield, he eased off the rail approaching the home turn and straightened up the widest – at least five deep – to make his run.

As the leaders began to struggle, Goats on Oats lifted the hopes of his supporters when he loomed up passing the 200 metres, but as his been customary for the son of Ready for Victory, he was reluctant to run past the leaders.

Suddenly, punters were holding their breath wondering whether this would his day, then in the shadows of the post Goats on Oats surged to beat the $21 chance Sheza Snake by a head with Circa ($17) another head away third.

The win was a relief for trainer Vincent Malady who has watched Goats on Oats finish second four times, twice this campaign beaten a half head and a head.

“He’s a horse who likes to hang around the pack and it has been frustrating to see him go so close without winning,” Vincent said.

Goats on Oats joins a growing list of recent winners for owner-breeders John and Helen McPhee who also celebrated stable success with Morning Darling, Alice Downs and Toompine in the last month.

“He is such consistent horse and hopefully now that he was won he can go on from here,” Vincent said.

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