Peter Robl trained his trained his first Sydney winner, it just happened to be a stakes race - and with a horse he once rode to a feature race success.
Robl rewrote the record books when Ninth Legion won the Listed $100,000 Civic Stakes (1350m) at Rosehill Gardens on Saturday.
“Ninth Legion has been a good horse to me as a jockey and as a trainer,’’ Robl said.
“I won the (2013 Group 2) Villiers on him and now I’ve trained him to win two black type races for me.’’
Ninth Legion had not won a race for 18 months before he took out the Listed Eye Liner Stakes at Ipswich two weeks ago and now the rising seven-year-old has put back-to-back stakes wins together.
When asked what has been the secret of Ninth Legion’s form surge, Robl replied: “I think we just like each other!”
Robl, a multiple Group 1-winning jockey, was forced to retire prematurely from riding after suffering a serious neck injury in a race fall at Scone more than two years ago.
He has only been training for seven months but has already prepared three stakes winners, with Ninth Legion breaking the ice for him in Sydney.
Ninth Legion eased $8 out to $11 and, after a confident Sam Clipperton ride, the gelding held off the late charge of Better Not Blue ($8.50) to win by a long head with Vergara ($6.50) a length away third.
'Ninth Legion and Sam Clipperton (rails) manage to hold out their rivals. Picture: Simon Bullard
“He has been a good horse his whole career and I’m just happy he still wants to do it,’’ Robl said of Ninth Legion’s return to form.
“When the horse came to me, he was in great condition, he had no issues, no problems. I think just the change of environment and a couple of different things I’m doing with him seems to be working.’’
Robl also called on his experience when he used to ride Ninth Legion to devise race tactics for Clipperton.
Sam Clipperton was pleased to be part of Peter Robl’s first Sydney winner. Picture: Simon Bullard
“When I rode Ninth Legion I was always positive on him and I thought that was the best way to ride him today,’’ Robl said.
“Sammy rode him as good as I could ride him!”
Clipperton took particular satisfaction providing Robl with his first Sydney winner as a trainer.
“It is a great feeling to get a stakes win for Peter, he is doing a good job,’’ Clipperton said.
“This horse has got a bit of confidence back, he was very determined today.’’
Better Not Blue’s second placing was like a win to trainer Michelle Ritchie.
“That run by ‘Blue’ has brought tears to my eyes,’’ Ritchie said.
“He didn’t win but he has tried so hard and that is all I can ask of him.’’
Ninth Legion and Better Not Blue are likely to have a return clash in the Listed $100,000 Winter Stakes (1400m) at Rosehill Gardens in two weeks.
Article: Daily Telegraph -
July 2, 2016