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Ideal Robyn put his injury woes well and truly behind him when winning at Winton yesterday.
In just his third start in a year following a pastern injury, the Ross and Chris Wilson-trained pacer dug deep in the home straight to produce a gritty victory for driver Craig Ferguson in race 3.
Ideal Robyn was a big winner on his home track at the 2020 Christmas meeting at Gore but was not seen at the races again until the same meeting 12 months later because of an pastern injury.
Third up on the back of a nice third placing at Ascot Park last week, the 5yr-old wasted no time in cashing in on his injury comeback.
"He has been working really good at home. He has been way too good for the horses he has been working with lately, so it wasn’t a complete surprise," Chris Wilson said.
"It is good to see him come back from that broken pastern and see him in the winner’s circle. It was a big thrill."
The win also paid back the Wilson stable for the work involved in rehabbing the pacer last year.
Ross and Chris Wilson, as well Chris’ brother, Rob, who runs something of a Dexter Dunn-style operation as a sought-after catch driver at morning trackwork, all pitched in.
"Luckily the break wasn’t too bad," Chris said.
"We don’t think it was broken right through — with a bit of rehab it came right."
Over his injury, the future looks bright for Ideal Robyn.
The pacer still has plenty to learn about the racing game and the Wilson team still has some gate speed to unleash.
"He is big and strong and dumb; he seems to go all day."
"We work him in front all the time. He works super in front and he has got a bit of gate speed.
"But he has never had a draw to use it. We have had to drive him from the back."
Ferguson produced a pinpoint drive behind the 5yr-old from barrier 8.
His steer to get Bizzie Lou home in race 6 was also a great drive.
Ferguson tracked hot favourite Prima Donna everywhere she went before unleashing his mare for her winning run on the home turn.
Bizzie Lou is trained and owned by Steve Baucke alongside wife Carol.
The couple are preparing two yearlings for next month’s National Yearling Sales in Christchurch.
The Bauckes will offer two fillies by Always B Miki in the Christchurch sales ring.
The first is from their good former racemare, Delight My Soul.
The second is from Operative Asset, making her a half-sister to good performers such as Belkmyster.