Peter Robl has only been at the training caper for six months, but has already racked up an impressive list of black-type successes with a relatively small team.
Sure, he has some quality stock, the bushie in him admits that, but bringing the best out of them at the right time is the art of training. Robl has proven he's good at that.
Taking over the reins: Former jockey and now trainer Peter Robl. Photo: Dallas Kilponen
"Horses can only run as fast as they can run," Robl said. "A lot of what it has been about with these older horses, which have come from other stables, is about management.
"We know these horses have ability, it is just getting them to show it. Sometimes they don't want to show it, so you have to work hard and find the right races for them and have them right on the day."
He has done so with Centre Pivot, Eloping and most recently Ninth Legion, which lines up again in Saturday's Civic Stakes at Rosehill after winning Ipswich's Eye Liner Stakes last start.
One of the Segenhoe team, which fills most of Robl's stable, Ninth Legion had won a Villiers Stakes and been competitive in a Doncaster when trained by Team Hawkes.
For a bloke just finding his way at the beginning of his training career after a race fall finished his time in the pigskin, it was a big order taking over a group 2 winner from a legend such as John Hawkes.
"You look at what the Hawkeses have done and you are getting a horse off them – you know it is going to be tough," Robl said. "He came to us in terrific order and they had placed him very well.
"He has really been looked after. We decided to target the Eye Liner [Stakes], which is a step down from what he had been running in and we got the right track on the day and the right result."
Robl put blinkers on Ninth Legion in the Eye Liner and they stay as part of the gear on Saturday. He knows there is a bit of cunning in the rising seven-year-old.
"That was pretty satisfying [the Eye Liner]; it was a plan," Robl said. "It is what we have been trying to do with these older horses that have come from other stables – get them back winning.
"I have to admit I have got it wrong a couple of times because I'm still learning about training. But when something like that comes off it is a real boost.
"He gets to probably around his best trip in the Civic Stakes and it looks like he is going to get a firm track, which he likes, so he is going to be hard to beat again."
Robl also takes Glenbawn Dame to Rosehill in a benchmark affair after she just missed out on a black-type win in the Lightning Stakes at her last outing in Brisbane.
She might be off to Segenhoe to become a mum at the end of this campaign, but Robl is keeping her ticking over hoping he can sneak a listed win before she goes.
"She was one of those horses we wanted to get back winning and she did that first up," Robl said. "Then we went to a couple of listed races in Brisbane to get that black type, which is so important for mares from Segenhoe.
"We got her to the right race and she ran to the best of her ability and we ran into one that was a bit better but he got that black-type placing.
"I think we can knock off one of those races, but back in Sydney this is a nice race for her on Saturday."
Article: Chris Roots - Sydney Morning Herald
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