Lance Robinson may have a young team, but he has experienced one of his best seasons to date.
The Riccarton trainer has nine wins to his name this term and with three months left to go in the season he has time to try and better his previous best mark of 14.
“We have only had a young team of horses this season, but I am happy with where they all are and things have gone really well,” Robinson said.
One of the more exciting equine athletes in his care is a juvenile sibling to his ill-fated Group performer Boots ‘N’ All.
“We have got a really nice team of young horses, it’s exciting stuff,” he said.
“We have got a two-year-old half-brother, by Vadamos, to Boots ‘N’ All. We think he is pretty smart.”
Live Drama has led the charge this season for the older brigade, with the four-year-old mare winning four of her six starts and finishing sixth in the Listed Lightning Handicap (1200m) at Trentham last start.
She is currently enjoying a deserved break in the spelling paddock before she returns for spring targets.
“She has already had three weeks out and she will have another three weeks, and then we will get her back and look after her through the winter and hopefully have her up and going in the early spring,” Robinson said.
“The Stewards (Group 3, 1200m) is her main target here at Riccarton over the Cup meeting.”
Robinson hasn’t finished with stakes aspirations this season, with last start winner Khimar War in line to contest the Listed Daphne Bannan Memorial Great Easter Stakes (1400m) at Riccarton next Saturday.
Robinson was pleased with the five-year-old gelding’s victory over 1200m last week, following a string of placings.
“He deserved that win,” Robinson said. “He has been knocking on the door all year.
“It was a good win for him the other day and he will have one more run in the Easter Stakes here over 1400m and then he will have a winter spell after that.”
While he is looking forward to that, Phar Lap Raceway’s Sunday meeting is at the forefront of his mind, where he has three runners.
Promising filly Avaquinella will be out to continue her strong form line when she jumps from barrier six in the Noel Walker At LJ Hooker Group Dash (1200m).
The daughter of Proisir won her maiden first-up over 1200m at Wingatui last month before finishing second over the same distance at Riccarton, and Robinson is expecting another bold showing this weekend.
“It was an excellent run last start,” he said. “It was quite a strong race at Riccarton after winning first-up in (rating) 65 company.
“We are happy with her. It is a good race for her so she should run really well.
“She is going the right way.”
Stablemate Khitan Warrior will tackle the Night ‘N’ Day Park Maiden (1200m) first-up after finishing second in his 850m trial last month, and Robinson said he will need plenty of luck from his wide draw.
“He has drawn 11, which is a pretty tricky draw,” he said. “He trialled up well three weeks ago and he always runs a good race.”
So You Think gelding Mind You will complete Robinson’s trio of runners on Sunday when he lines-up in the Catering South Canterbury Sprint (1200m).
“He has had one run back for us and we feel he has improved a bit,” Robinson said.
“He has had a couple of minor issues after Riccarton, but his work has been good lately. He has got Chris Johnson on and he has a good draw (2).
“His work has been really good, so we are expecting him to run well.”