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Peter Robl mind game puts the zip back in Aussies Love Sport

As Peter Robl awaits the approval of his trainer’s licence, the former jockey has given a fascinating insight into the methods he has employed to get Aussies Love Sport back in the right mindset.

Aussies Love Sport (centre, yellow cap) finishes second to Dublin Lass on Saturday. Pictu

Aussies Love Sport (centre, yellow cap) finishes second to Dublin Lass on Saturday. Picture: Mark Evans


Robl is looking after David Vandyke’s Randwick stable, which is almost totally full of Segenhoe Stud horses, including Aussies Love Sport.

Knows his craft: Peter Robl. Picture: Mark Evans

Knows his craft: Peter Robl. Picture: Mark Evans

The popular racing character wants to train out of headquarters in his name and has the blessing of Segenhoe Stud boss Kevin Maloney.

The pressure on Robl to produce a sound performance from Aussies Love Sport when he resumed at Randwick on Saturday was huge.

The regally bred galloper arrived at his stables a Group 3 winner from the Gai Waterhouse yard.

“I was on a hiding to nothing,” Robl said.

But the son of Redoute’s Choice hadn’t placed in a race since September 2013 and Robl was faced with the task of getting him back in the zone on one of the biggest racedays on the Australian calendar.

“Gai did a great job with this guy to win a Group 3 and place in a Group 2 in his first few starts but then he lost his way and no one really knew why,” he said.

“I’ve always thought you’re better off taking a horse to the races that’s 100 per cent there mentally and only 80 per cent there fitness-wise rather than the other way around.

“You can work them all you want but if the horse doesn’t want to be there, it’ll run last or near enough to it.”

So instead of galloping Aussies Love Sport multiple times per week, Robl adopted a different approach to the preparation of the gelding.

“His problem was you could see he didn’t want to be there when he paraded before his most recent races,” Robl said. “He just wasn’t there.

“So the other week, instead of galloping, I loaded him up on to the truck and floated him to Canberra. He got to go to the races without the pressure of racing and he handled it well.”

Aussies Love Sport showed “improved signs” when parading at Randwick before finishing second to Dublin Lass in the opening race on Saturday.

“I had a smile from ear to ear when I saw him attack the line like that,” Robl said.

“He paraded a bit better, although there’s still plenty of improvement.

“I’m only very new at this training game but (him) finishing second was something I’ll remember for a long time because there has been so much unorthodox work go into this horse.’’


Article by Nic Ashman - Daily Telegraph - 19th April 2015