Nordic Empire has lived up to his control freak reputation by dominating his opposition from the front at Sandown.
The Chris Parry-trained galloper jumped to the lead in Wednesday's Dream Thoroughbreds Handicap and held off his rivals up the Sandown straight.
Ridden by apprentice Stephanie Thornton, Nordic Empire ($11) defeated Demolition ($6) by 1-1/2 lengths with The Passage ($21) a short-head away third.
Parry, who took over the training of the gelding from Mick Price 18 months ago, said he was a hard horse to train.
"I want to thank all the owners who have stuck by this horse because he's a bit of a trick and had a few issues and I also want to thank (Arthur) 'Scrooge' Robertson who rides him in his work," Parry said.
"He does a super job riding him trackwork and without him he wouldn't be going this good."
Robertson rode Nordic Empire in his first-up run last month before Thornton took over on Wednesday.
Parry explained Nordic Empire used to drop his riders when trained at Caulfield and has also lost Robertson on occasions but was more settled when allowed to do his own thing.
"Scrooge takes him out to the sand hills out the back of Cranbourne," Parry said.
"We can mix up his work so we've got options with him but the important thing is Scrooge goes with him.
"If you stand over him him he'll drop you.
"I said to Steph today to just go with him and that's why we've been riding him from the front.
"He's a control freak. Once he's running his own speed he's happy."
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