Life at Ciaron Maher’s stable appears to agree with former Macedon Lodge import Marksmanship, reports Racing Victoria.

At his first start since being purchased by Maher for $120,000 at last month’s Inglis tried horses’ sale, the son of Galileo scored a dashing win in the $17,500 Handicap (1600m).

It justified the belief Maher had in the six-year-old, who may have booked himself a return trip to Cranbourne for the $200,000 Cranbourne Cup (2025m) in early October.

“I was only interested in one horse at that sale,” Maher said. “I was pretty keen to get him because I thought he had a bit of upside and was at a rating where the owners can hopefully, if it all goes well, enjoy a good ride and get a few wins up.

“That was a good start. We’ll just tick along through the grades and see where that leads us. Who knows, he might go back to Cranbourne for the Cup.”

Marksmanship was expertly handled by Michael Rodd, demonstrating impressive versatility to get the job done. After jumping well, he was happy to relax underneath the Melbourne Cup-winning hoop in the middle stages before kicking clear when asked entering the home straight.

The $4.60 favourite quickly opened up a race-winning break and cruised to the line 1-3/4 lengths clear of Nordic Duke with Popye Braggins working home to claim third placing.

The Cranbourne race was Marksmanship’s first outing since a second placing at Sandown on 7 May and only his 10th start overall. His first four starts were in Europe, including a second placing in the Group 3 Ballyroan Stakes (2400m) at Leopardstown.

“He was very fit when he came to the stable and I didn’t have to do a lot with him,” Maher said.

“I’d been soft on him, which is why I dropped him back to the mile and he got the favours today with Michael giving him a very good run.”

Marksmanship’s win was the first leg of a running double for Rodd, who followed up with Winter Championship heat success aboard the Matthew Williams-prepared Luckyi’mbarefoot.

Where he did it from the front aboard Marksmanship, Rodd rode a patient race aboard Luckyi’mbarefoot  who unleashed a booming finish from last to wear down Soros and Specter.

The Winter Championship heat was one of two qualifiers for events that will be run at Flemington on Finals Day (12 July), accompanied by the fourth heat of the Rivette Series.

That 1600m event for three-year-old fillies produced a local victory with the Robbie Griffiths-prepared Dancing Rose carrying Matthew Allen to an impressive win over Cuban Lass and Ardelle.

Full results of all races on the Cranbourne card are available via the link