Riccarton trainer Lance Robinson was successful in taking out the Listed Gore Guineas (1335m) earlier this month and he believes he has a strong chance of taking home more southern spoils at Wingatui on Saturday.
Robinson won the Guineas with Air Max, who will contest the Listed MediaWorks Dunedin Guineas (1500m), and the Canterbury horseman couldn’t be happier with his charge heading into the contest.
“It was an extremely good run (in the Gore Guineas). He did a couple of things wrong, he’s still a little bit green, but he hit the line well,” Robinson said.
“He has come through his race fine. He had a gallop on Tuesday morning and we are really happy with him.
“He’s a horse that just keeps on improving. I think he has improved off his run again the other day, so I think he will be a good chance again.”
While confident Air Max will be able to put in another good showing on Saturday, he rates stablemate Khimar War as a big danger in the race after a luckless run in the Gore Guineas last-start.
“Khimar War had no luck the other day,” Robinson said. “It rained on the day with him and he didn’t cop the track.
“He got a check at the top of the straight. When Air Max came out he half-pie knocked him down a wee bit, so he didn’t have a lot of luck that day.
“He’s really done well too and I think he is a good chance in the race also. There’s nothing between them, but Khimar War will be very hard to beat.”
Robinson will also bring stable star Boots ‘N’ All south to contest the Group 3 White Robe Lodge Weight For Age (1600m) on Saturday.
The six-year-old son of Perfectly Ready has had a great run of late, finishing runner-up behind Te Akau Shark in the Group 2 Coupland’s Bakeries Mile (1600m) at Riccarton in November, followed by a last-start victory in the Listed Timaru Cup (1600m) last month.
“He is going terrific, he couldn’t be going any better, I am really happy with him,” Robinson said.
“He had five days in the paddock after the Timaru Cup. He had an exhibition gallop at Riccarton on Saturday and Jake Lowry rode him and was extremely happy with him.
“He loves the mile, 1600m is his pet distance, and I think Weight For Age suits him.
“I couldn’t be happier with him and he’ll run well.”
All going to plan, Boots ‘N’ All will be set for a tilt at Group One glory in the Haunui Farm WFA Group One Classic (1600m) at Otaki next month.
“Boots ‘N’ All will go to Otaki for Haunui Classic and we’ll just assess the other two runners after they race on Saturday,” Robinson said.