Marksmanship on target in Banjo Paterson
Brad Waters
16:46 AEST Sat Jul 12 2014

Marksmanship was Ciaron Maher's sole target at a recent sale and the import repaid the trainer's investment after just three starts following his win in the Banjo Paterson Series Final at Flemington.

Maher paid $120,000 for Marksmanship at a dispersal sale of Hudson Conway Racing stock in late May before the trainer quickly ironed out any kinks in the Galileo six-year-old.

Wins at Cranbourne and Caulfield preceded Marksmanship's all-the-way success over 2600m at Flemington, which took his earnings to more than $130,000 for his new connections.

Michelle Payne rode Marksmanship to victory over 2000 metres at Caulfield last Saturday and the jockey earned Maher's praise after rating the entire well enough to get home by a nose over the Chris Waller-trained Sacred Flyer as a $4.40 equal favourite.

"Michelle rode him perfectly today and we planned before the race to bowl along at a good tempo. We wanted to roll along and make it a genuine staying test," Maher said.

"We thought he was strong and fit and on a light weight and she (Payne) was able to get the job done."

Marksmanship and Sacred Flyer ($5.50) were the first two throughout the race while Zabeelionaire ($21) and Zuma Roc ($4.40) finished well from the second half of the field for third and fourth respectively.

Maher said he would keep setting tougher tasks for Marksmanship in the coming months with an eye on country cups in the spring.

"We'll just keep raising the bar and just keep putting him in some races and see, he might end up in a Bendigo Cup or something like that," Maher said.

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