When the track at the Bendigo Jockey Club on Saturday was rated a good 4, local trainer Jarrod Robinson thought his winning hopes with The Wrangler had been quashed.
Going into Saturday's Elmore Racing Club Benchmark 58 Handicap (1300m), the four-year-old had had nine starts on good tracks for no wins and one second place.
Normally, it's a case of the wetter the better for The Wrangler.
Robinson need not have worried. With Jack Martin in the saddle, The Wrangler jumped straight to the front and was never headed, cruising to career victory number three from 17 starts.
"I was hoping it would rain,'' Robinson said.
"This is the first time he's won on a dry track. He's better on a wet track."
He's also better when he's allowed to dictate terms out in front.
Even with 62 kg on his back, The Wranger proved too strong for his rivals.
"When he gets an easy lead he's hard to run down,'' Robinson said.
"The start before at Wangaratta a few horses took him on and brought him undone.
"He got an easy lead on Saturday and kept going which was good."
Robinson said The Wrangler would be better served over more ground than Saturday's 1300m event.
"He'll keep going up in distance now. He's probably best at a mile and he's still got a few wins in him, particularly if the tracks get wet,'' Robinson said.
"Jack (Martin) was really hoping with him and he reckons he's up to city midweek level if we can get him in the right race.
"I'll probably give him another run in the country before, hopefully, finding a race for him at Sandown on a Wednesday on a heavy track."
Robinson also wants a heavy track for consistent gelding Mean Mister.
The five-year-old was beaten in a photo finish on a heavy track at Sandown last start.
A trip to Swan Hill for the feature sprint event on Cup day this Sunday is on the cards for Mean Mister if the track is wet enough.
"I'd like to run him in the Golden Topaz, but it doesn't look like they're going to get much rain up there,'' Robinson said.
"If it's a heavy 10 I think he could be competitive in a good race like that. If it's dry...they'll probably be too speedy for him."
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