Bustler made an ideal start to his racing career, prompting trainer Neville Parnham to think about a back-type future for the Playing God two-year-old.
On debut in the Tabtouch-Better Your Bet Plate (1000m) and under the urgings of comeback jockey, Steven Parnham, Bustler was too strong at the post.
Starting the $4.20 favourite, Bustler burst through an opening after coming off the fence at the turn and defeated Work In Progress by a half length with Hang Glider third.
Bustler cost $130,000 as a Magic Millions yearling and Parnham (Neville) believes he can measure up to the best of his age group at The Pinnacles this year.
“He’s a really nice horse this fella and has a nice future,” Parnham said.
“I think he could get up to the summer carnival later in the year.
“Gelding him was the best thing that could have happened to him, because he was very much a colt.
“I think he’s a nice horse and still has to grow up a bit, but is showing similarities to his sire, Playing God.
“I’m not saying he’s as good as him, but has a lot of him in him.
“I’d think he will be going to the paddock now, just briefly for four or five weeks and hopefully getting him back.”
Bustler gave the Parnham family another reason to celebrate with Steven back at the races for the first time since a long injury layoff.
The 36-year-old had been out of the saddle since fracturing his collarbone in a race fall on Kentucky Blue at Ascot in March.
The injury required surgery but did not heal as quickly as expected and with a recent bout of the flu, his comeback took longer than anticipated.
Knowing the potential he possessed, Parnham (Steve) was eager to get aboard Bustler for his first official appearance.
“He was naughty as a colt, but is coming good now,” Parnham said.
“He’s maturing and I think he’ll be a nice horse in time.
“That was why I made the effort to come back today and ride him, knowing he has some ability.”