Darren Weir came from nowhere.
A horse breaker, a farrier, a knockabout journeyman with a reputation as a horse whisperer; the young man from the country who started training in a small way in 1995 has become a juggernaut that dominates the sport in Victoria.
Weir sends out winners by the bucket load and has built up his business so that he now trains horses on an industrial scale.
His crowing glory was the 2015 Melbourne Cup when he saddled the 100-1 outsider Prince of Penzance, who galloped to a place in history as the mount of Michelle Payne - the first (and so far only) female jockey to have won Australia's greatest race.
Weir has trained three dozen Group One winners throughout what, by horse trainer terms, is still a relatively short career, enjoying success at the highest level during the most recent spring carnival with gallopers like Land of Plenty (Toorak Handicap) and Extra Brut (VRC Derby).
Weir has always been different to the rest.
His client base is so vast that his horses are spread over several locations: Miners Rest at Ballarat, Warrnambool (where Jarrod McLean, another trainer who has faced the interest of the stewards in the past, is his foreman) and a private base at Maldon near Castlemaine.
He has horsemen with smaller stables around the state agisting and pre-preparing horses. He employs a legion of staff, trackwork riders and more than half a dozen jockeys who regularly ride for him in races, in gallops and in trials.
For years, Weir has perfected his public persona as a regular Australian country guy; the bushie who comes to town to win the big races but would much rather be out in the sun-drenched paddocks alone with a horse.
The "Aw shucks, he ran good, we were expecting him to go well but not that well" line has been his stock in trade in myriad post-race interviews over the past two decades. He seems to give the impression that he is not quite sure how things have turned out so well for him.
It's a routine that plays well with the punters, who love the fact that he trains so many winners.
Banners extolling his virtues with the legend "Back Weir, drink beer" have become standard during the big carnivals as happy racegoers cash in on his expertise.
And with those increasing number of winners - in the 2018-19 season he trained a staggering 489.5 (one was a dead heat) - has come patronage from better-known owners, richer individuals and cashed-up syndicates who put their faith in his skills.
His arrest on Tuesday after police raids at his Ballarat and Warrnambool stables has sent shock waves through the sport.