The Carbine Club Stakes, at Flemington on Derby Day 1995, was the first sign that he might be destined for the top grade.
Heavily backed to start 5/2 favourite in the 1600m Group 3 event, he strolled home by 2.5 lengths in what was the first time Darren Beadman rode him in a race.
Saintly was then beaten in the Group 3 Sandown Guineas (1600m), but headed off for a brief spell before returning early in February to win the Group 3 Expressway Stakes (1200m) under Larry Cassidy and finish second in the Group 3 Apollo Stakes (1400m) with John Powell aboard before scoring a maiden Group 1 success against the older horses in the Australian Cup.
Beadman was back in the saddle for that 2000m Group 1 and, like his earlier visit to Flemington, his winning margin was 2.5 lengths.
It was then back to Sydney where he was a key player in three Group 1 features at the Sydney Autumn Carnival.
With Beadman electing to ride Octagonal, Patrick Payne was called upon for the Rosehill Guineas (2000m), in which he finished second to Octagonal, and the race now known as The BMW (2400m), when he finished third behind Octagonal and Count Chivas.
Larry Cassidy regained the seat above Saintly for the ATC Derby (2400m) and while they got close, Saintly again had to settle for second position behind Octagonal and Beadman.
The second placings continued early in his four-year-old season, when he was runner-up in the Group 2 Warwick Stakes (1400m) and Group 2 Chelmsford Stakes (1600m) before returning to the winner’s list in the Group 2 Hill Stakes (1900m).