King’s Officer looking to notch first Randwick success

King's Officer
King’s Officer is looking to give country trainer Terry Robinson some metropolitan success at Randwick this Saturday

TERRY Robinson and Regal Lodge Racing has had its fair share of good horses in the past and current stable star King’s Officer is vying for its first Randwick win.

The six-year-old will be having its 10th race at Randwick in the ALM Handicap (2000m) and after a hard-fought placing on this track last start, Robinson talked to about its chances on Saturday.

“His last two runs have been good and he really found the line his last start,” Robinson said. “We were going to go around in the mile race, but this didn’t look an overly strong race so we decided to go for the 2000m.

“Whether he’s a run away, I’m not sure, but I’m happy with his work and he’s drawn well. I think he’ll run a very good race on Saturday.”

The son of Domesday has largely been considered a wet tracker after stringing wins together on rain-affected tracks last campaign, but while Robinson admits it does prefer the softer going, it’s not without a chance on a dry track.

“His last preparation was very good. He was racing on rain-affected tracks which he seems to excel at,” Robinson said.

“His best form is now on rain-affected tracks, but I like the way he found the line at Randwick on a good track, so I don’t see any reason why he won’t run a very good race.”

King’s Officer has won over this distance from four starts and it drops nicely in weight to 53kg with Blake Spriggs in the saddle. Robinson believes the dwindling numbers in the staying ranks ultimately made his decision to run on Saturday easier.

“I’d like to think he can run the 2000m well. There’s a lack of stayers around, a lack of depth. If you get to 2000m plus, they’re handy to have.”

Robinson has welcomed an influx of juveniles to his Shoalheaven Heads stable which has saddled up over 180 winners at both country and metropolitan level.

“I’ve got six two-year-olds this year,” Robinson said. “That’s the most I’ve ever had. I normally only ever have two if that, so it’s nice to have a few babies around this year.

“We ended up winning eight races in town last year, most of them highways, but that was a good year for me and I’ve been offered a few more horses.

“I only work 16-17 horses, that’s all I can manage at one time. There’s a couple of handy ones that could become highway horses.”

The Highway Handicap is an initiative which Racing NSW implicated in 2015 and has become a successful avenue for country and provincial trainers.

The good stakemoney on offer and the big fields attract trainers and punters to the Highway Handicap, in which Robinson has had great success in.

“It’s a great idea and great for us country trainers to race for that sort of prizemoney,” Robinson said. “I think it’s good for Racing NSW as it’s always a big field and apparently it’s a good betting race.

“It’s a great incentive and they might even look to do something for the higher class. They only cater for class 1-3 horses, so they may even want to cater for the higher class.

“It’s been a good concept and we’re pleased that we’re able to race for that kind of money.”

One Racing NSW initiative that Robinson can’t viably get involved with is The Everest. The $600,000 entry fee prices many trainers out of the equation, let alone the country-based trainers like Terry Robinson.

“I can’t believe it,” Robinson said. “It’s disappointing. It’s a bit of a classic.”

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