Peter Robl has trained three winners in his last eight starters and might be able to make it five from his past 10 once he leaves Kembla Grange on Thursday.
“The stable is going well for what we’ve got and you can only work with that,” Robl said. “The horses are running up to their ability and there’s a couple of progressive ones coming though.”
Miss Twilight is his top seed at Kembla and she goes around in a Benchmark 64 Handicap (1200m). The Sidestep four-year-old comes into the race off a third placing behind Holy Reign and Spiranac at Newcastle over 1300m in a Benchmark 68 Handicap a fortnight ago.
“She’ll certainly be hard to beat because she’s going really well,” Robl said.
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“Her runs have been good each time this preparation and I think this race is slightly weaker than the race she ran in last start at Newcastle.”
Despite her recent good runs, Miss Twilight generally goes around at close to double-figure odds so it’s obvious she’s running above punters’ expectations.
“She has flown under the radar,” Robl said. “I think it’s because she won at Goulburn and Canberra. Even though she keeps winning or running well, everyone puts a bit of a line through the form. Her run at Gosford was good then her run at Newcastle the other day was great.”
Tyler Schiller will ride Miss Twilight from barrier eight and he’ll have to be positive on the mare to take up a forward position which is where she races best.
“Ideally, she would lob in second or third,” Robl said. “She’s got really good natural gate speed so I don’t see any reason why we’d be changing her tactics.
“She’s probably not the softest going sort of filly so I don’t think you’d be able to go back on her too much without getting into trouble. We’re pulling 3kg off her back so we’ll keep it simple and roll forward and she’ll probably land outside the leader, if not she’ll take the lead.”
Power Of Attorney is Robl’s other runner on the day, in a Benchmark 64 Handicap (1200m) and he’s first-up off one trial. Robl says he’s not to be underestimated.
“I think he can do something fresh,” he said. “He’s going really well at home and I think he can run a cheeky race first-up.”
The five-year-old is looking for his third win at start 20 and has more than matched it with provincial horses in the past and will be ridden by Lee Magorrian, who is a key booking.
“He’s been in a lot harder races than this and I’ve only given him one trial this time in just to keep him on the fresh side,” Robl said.
“He seems to dour up pretty quickly but he’s been doing a bit of jumping just to switch him on mentally and keep him focused so hopefully that makes him run a good race first-up.
“He’ll be midfield and he’s got a strong rider on which will suit him. He should’ve won first-up at Goulburn last preparation so he does run well fresh.”
WORK OF ART
The 1000m of the fourth race at Kembla Grange is short of Art Cadeau’s best but he has two important things on his side.
The public has not seen the four-year-old since he ran second in a 1500m Highway Handicap in June on a heavy track but trainer Terry Robinson has reasons to send her to Kembla.
“He’s spelled well and he’s had two jumpouts,” he said. “I did have him nominated for the Highway on Saturday in town but we weren’t sure where we would draw in a big field so his owner and I decided to pick this race out, which looks to have fallen away a bit.
“It looks like a nice start for this preparation.”
Art Cadeau has won once and run second on another occasion at his only two 1000m runs.
He will get the services of star jockey Tommy Berry.
“He’s in pretty good shape but I still think he’s got improvement in him and he will be better once he gets over more of a journey,” Robinson said.
“He looks more like a miler so whether he’s sharp enough, I’m not sure. But he has a good record and can do it fresh. He’s a nice horse with a bit of talent.”
Another reason Art Cadeau can win the Class 1 is the fact he ran second on all four occasions last preparation, including in some better races.
It didn’t leave his trainer frustrated but rather glad that he had a horse with a bright future.
“I was really happy with the horse,” Robinson said.
“He got beat a lip in his first two runs then ran another two seconds in town in Highways, so I couldn’t be happier with the horse.
“Once he matures a bit more, he’ll be even better.
“He’s not a great doer but there’s a lot of upside to him and Tommy is on, which is great.
“Hopefully Tommy wants to stay on for a Highway in a couple of weeks, so we hope he likes him.”