When you have done six years cutting your teeth as an assistant with the Kwa-Zulu Natal veteran and legendary trainer Dennis Drier and decide to take out your own licence, you know that a better grounding you could not have asked for and the consistent results speak for themselves. The man I am talking about is Phillipi-based trainer Michael Robinson.
Robinson will not forget his first hat-trick which he achieved at Durbanville yesterday. All three of his winners were steered to victory by title-chasing Warren Kennedy who also had the distinction of riding all four legs of the jackpot. Kennedy said in his post-race interview that he was delighted to have given Mike and Louellla their first treble, they absolutely adore their horses he said. Kennedy has recently become a father and he has made it clear that he is going for this season’s jockey championship.
Robinson, 47, must have thought whilst driving to the races yesterday that he had a bright chance of having a winner or two! He had a strong card of runners and his day kicked off in the third race with Cross Court. This lightly raced filly finished fourth and one can only feel that she might still have some more improvement to come.
The floodgates opened in the fourth where Lunar Tunes got the better of the Brett Crawford-trained Maningi Indaba in a nail-biting finish. This was strike one for Kennedy and Robinson.
Forty minutes later the jockey / trainer combination were in the winner’s enclosure with Lady Abigail. This Crusade filly was supposed to go to Robinson some time ago but Mike De Haast from the International Racing Club said that they battled to get her to Cape Town due to the restrictions at the time. They then sent her to Mike’s father-in-law, Doug Campbell, and he too, won a race with her at Hollywoodbets Greyville on the polytrack in July.
Robinson said her local debut was good enough and she came out well from that race and he thought that this was the right race for her. It would have been a dead giveaway for anyone who was on course yesterday to see De Haast there all the way from his Bloemfontein home base. This racing club deserve all the success they can get.
Next into the winner’s box was the daughter of Elusive Fort, Secret Depths. The in-form trainer said in his post-race interview that she had been such an unlucky filly and he was really chuffed that she has finally won again. He rates her as one of the nicest fillies he has trained. Part-owner and breeder Peter De Beyer was on course to lead her in.
Eric Sands made two visits to the winner’s box first with Broadside in the first race and then with Bellingham Bay in the seventh. Racegoer followers would have noticed that there was a large picture of Lady Abigail in the papers on Tuesday night as well as Broadside in the headlines. All in all, a very good day out at the country course.
By Warren Lenferna