BENDIGO galloper Punter was quick to put a luckless last start behind him and score an impressive maiden win at Ballarat on Wednesday.
The Pat Cannon-trained four-year-old gelding was likely a good thing beaten when he finished third at the same track 11 days earlier, when he failed to get a run in the straight after being camped behind the pacesetters in a small four-horse field.
There were no such problems this time around with jockey John Robertson taking Punter straight to the front before putting his rivals to the sword in the straight to win by five-and-a-half-lengths over the 1600-metres trip.
Win number one came at start number 14 for the son of Onemorenomore out of the mare Demon Maggie.
Only the last five of those starts have been for Cannon, who acquired the horse from Swan Hill trainer Austy Coffey.
He had been placed three times previously.
Punter has been a definite work in progress for Cannon, who trains a small team at Bendigo, led by the four-year-old Schultzy, who put together back-to-back wins at Yarra Valley earlier this year and three wins in five starts following his success at Echuca on New Year's Eve.
"(Punter) came to me with a bag of tricks - he's got more tricks than Houdini, but we are slowly working him out," Cannon said.
"Laying in, overracing, to being an idiot at home, he's not the brightest spark in the shed.
"But he's slowly maturing and he's been improving at track work as well and he's put it on the track today (Sunday)."
No one was more relieved following Punter's win than jockey Robertson, who was left cursing his luck after the horse's last start third.
"Even on my way to the races that day .... it was a four-horse field and I came up with five different ways to ride him," he said.
"I really sizzled my brain. I was probably in the worst spot last time.
"It feels like a bit of a redemption ride. Yes, we were unlucky, but I wish I had dictated last time and we were certainly going to do that today (Sunday).
"He was always going to be hard to beat at the 400m."
The win capped a big week for Robertson, who rode winners for fellow Bendigo trainers Kym Hann on Monday with Pal's Reward and Brent Stanley on Thursday aboard Eitilt.
It gave him three wins from his last four rides.
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