Few horses are entitled to be more grateful to their trainers than the veteran sprinter McClintock must somehow be to Mark de Montfort.
And in a relationship in which feelings are mutual, de Montfort's affection for his horse is clearly boundless.
McClintock is the first city winner de Montfort prepared following his retirement after 30 years as a jockey and a career in which he won a Golden Slipper and an AJC Derby.
The horse ran 30 races for de Montfort between 2008 and early 2011, winning six of them and giving him his initial Group race success as a trainer.
Then, in a racing version of a Mills and Boon plot, the pair were separated.
McClintock's owner, the bloodstock and furniture store magnate Gerry Harvey, sent the horse to Singapore where he had his first start in October 2011.
"He hated it over there," de Montfort said.
"I knew he would. He couldn't stand the heat here, I wouldn't run him on those hot summer days."
McClintock finished last at four of his six starts in Singapore and was well beaten in the other two.
"It was terrible for me to see how he went over there," de Montfort said.
"I'd ridden there at one time and I knew what it was like."
It became clear after a few months that the Singapore venture had failed - and equally clear to de Montfort that ex-racehorses have limited futures in the island state.
"The Singapore Turf Club has a riding school but there's a long waiting list of horses to get taken in there," de Montfort said.
"A lot of them end up going to the knackers and get fed to the lions at the zoo."
Through contacts in Singapore, de Montfort let it be known he would take the horse back and arrangements were duly made to return him to Australia.
"They knew I loved him so they said I could have him, as long as I paid for his return ticket," he said.
"I didn't want to race him, I just wanted to save him."
De Montfort paid $20,000 to bring McClintock back to Sydney where he was given a paddock and a rest.
McClintock did well, de Montfort gave him some exercise and it was decided to try him again as a racehorse.
"He looked like he'd been in a concentration camp when he arrived home, but he picked up and was enjoying life so much we gave him a couple of trials just to see," he said.
The rejuvenated McClintock, now an eight-year-old, won both trials in Sydney and on Sunday he went around in a Group Three race at Caulfield, his first start in eight months.
After sharing the lead most of the way he finished a fighting second, repaying the $20,000 his trainer had spent to get him home and promising more.
In one of those sentimental quirks of racing, McClintock will run again in three weeks in a Group Three race at Caulfield in which, three years ago, he scored his most recent victory.
De Montfort is adamant that at the first sign his horse isn't enjoying the racing life "we'll pack our bags and go home".
To a good one, no doubt.