BARBIE Mattgregor has always been a work in progress for Junortoun trainer Dylan Marshall.
But the 31-year-old hopes he has gone some way to unlocking the secret to the four-year-old mare, after her win at Maryborough on Thursday.
Barbie Mattgregor, who is raced by Steve Clements, from the Brisbane Pastoral Company, has done the bulk of her racing - 35 starts in total - in Queensland and New South Wales - under three individual trainers.
Her last six runs have been in Victoria under the stewardship of Marshall, who is the only trainer to get a win with the mare.
The hobby trainer, who works full-time as a diesel mechanic, took some encouragement from Barbie Mattgregor's maiden win.
"She has been a bit of a project horse .... she had 30-odd starts before yesterday (Thursday) and has been one of those horses who has taken a lot of working out," he said.
"They didn't go any spectacular time, but she got the job done.
"With a bit of luck and a sharp breeze, hopefully we have worked her out a bit."
Being a day meeting, Marshall unfortunately missed the win, with his partner Tayla Fellows taking on the handling duties.
The couple operate only a small team of horses from their base, opposite Lord's Raceway, but clearly relish the involvement after more than 10 years in the industry.
"There has been bits and pieces (of success) along the way; we have only ever had a small team, no more than five or six," Marshall said.
He said Barbie Mattgregor, who was driven for the first time by Michael Bellman on Thursday, would next run at Ballarat on April 16.
"We are trying to keep her to a mile, she doesn't really get the longer trip," Marshall said.
"We will certainly have a bit more confidence in her than we did beforehand."
Also among the winners on Thursday was Longlea trainer John McDermott, who scored with Whata Challenge.
The five-year-old gelding now has wins in two of his past four starts for McGregor, who has raced the horse since January last year, after formerly being trained by Matt Craven.
Have you signed up to the Bendigo Advertiser's daily newsletter and breaking news emails? You can register below and make sure you are up to date with everything that's happening in central Victoria.