“It beats looking at a computer screen in an office” … Peter Robl.PETER ROBL is no longer a bush hoop, but still finds riding in a group 1 race for Bart Cummings and Gai Waterhouse remarkable.
Nanjing Night Net

”You don’t even dream of riding in group 1s from where I came from,” Robl said. ”Let alone for Gai and Bart, it’s something I wouldn’t have considered when I came to Sydney.”

Robl had forged a great reputation around the border region of NSW and Victoria before an opportunity came ”a few years ago”, in Robl talk, ”to head to the big smoke”. He decided ”why not give it a go” and his attitude has done the rest.

The 41-year-old established himself in the tough Sydney jockeys’ market and even a year-long ban hasn’t stopped him being picked up by the biggest stables in the land to ride for them.

He had won three group 1s before a betting scandal involving Blake Shinn cost him a year out of his career. This time last year he was watching from the sidelines; it is a long way from riding Wild And Proud in the Epsom for Waterhouse and a promising filly Duet for Cummings in the Flight Stakes.

But the humble hoop’s best group 1 ride of the day comes for David Vandyke, Lamasery in The Metropolitan, and that probably is the best indication of the bloke he is.

”I’m living the dream,” he said. ”I’m not scared of hard work and let’s face it, riding horses is a great job. Sure there are the early mornings and watching the weight, but it beats looking at a computer screen in an office. I’m doing something I love.”

Robl has loyalty at his core and works closely with Vandyke and Anthony Cummings, who supplies most of his rides. He is at trackwork a couple of mornings a week at Randwick and another couple at Warwick Farm, and was there for Lamasery’s final workout on Tuesday.

The stayer with legs that have spent as much time in buckets of ice as they do wheeling around the track holds a special place for Robl, who steered him to victory in the 2000-metre Hill Stakes last start.

”David is a wonderful bloke and has done a great done with this horse,” Robl said. ”Everyone knows the story but when I galloped him the other morning you wouldn’t know he had a problem.

”He felt better than before the Hill Stakes and I know David will have him 100 per cent ready to go at Randwick, and he is the sort of guy you want to win a group 1 with.”

Robl spends his share of time at Randwick during the week with Anthony Cummings and helps out else where he can.

”I will stick my head in and do a couple for Gai,” he said. ”It can end up in a ride here or there and this one is the Epsom. I have done a bit of riding for Gooree [which owns Wild And Proud] and that helped [get the ride] I think. Gai has thrown me a bone with a bit of meat on it and it would be great to turn it into a group 1 winner.”

Duet, Robl’s ride for Cummings, has only had three starts but there was something to like about all of them. Robl was on her when she was runner-up at big odds at Canterbury at her second appearance.

”She should of won that day and her first-up run was just as good,” he said. ”She went for a jog and canter at Kembla and won as she liked. She is a smoky and we have Bart on our side, which is a big advantage.”

This story Administrator ready to work first appeared on Nanjing Night Net.

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