BENDIGO trainer Jarrod Robinson is looking forward with renewed confidence in a spring campaign with his stayer Wellsford.
The five-year-old bounced back from a disastrous first start this preparation to claim a tough 2400m win at Swan Hill earlier this week.
It was exactly what Robinson was hoping for from the gelding that he rates as - on potential - one of the best horses in his stable.
"After last start was just a disaster ... I thought he'd run well first up, but he got a check and overraced, and just made a real mess of it," the young trainer said, reflecting on Wellsford's disappointing last-place finish at Echuca earlier in the month.
"The main thing was just to get him to settle (on Tuesday) and Billy (Egan) did that perfectly.
"He just wanted to hang in a bit up the straight, which wasn't ideal and he made things hard for himself, but he got there in the end.
"I've got a fair opinion of the horse, but he just does a lot wrong. He's still learning, so hopefully, if he ever puts it together he'll be a nice stayer."
It was Wellsford's second career win from eight starts. His first was at Cranbourne over 2600m last November.
The gelding went to Moonee Valley three weeks later for his next start over 3000m, but was later diagnosed with a fractured pedal bone and did not race for 10 months.
Egan, who picked up his third win for Robinson in his 19th ride for the Bendigo trainer, was pleased to see the gelding scrape in ahead of Bannerton (for Austy and Harry Coffey) after he laid in badly in the straight.
"He switched off ... he charged badly last start and he ran terrible," he said.
"He runs really well when he switches off, so when he came out quiet I just didn't move and I thought 'I won't worry about a position or anything, I'll just let him poke around out the back'.
"But they skipped away and he wanted to throw the race away by laying in, but he was going really strongly on the line."
Robinson has his other stayer Equine Philosopher nominated for next Wednesday's $125,000 Kyneton Cup (2000m).
A back-to-back winner in August-September, the four-year-old gelding is coming off consecutive seconds in the Murtoa and St Arnaud Cups.
Our journalists work hard to provide local, up-to-date news to the community. This is how you can access our trusted content:
Sign up for our newsletter to stay up to date.