Beast books Cup ticket
By Jonny Turner
The New Zealand Cup awaits Robyns Playboy after he scored back to back wins in the Tuapeka Cup at Forbury Park on Sunday.
The horse dubbed ‘The Beast From The East’ by his fans effectively booked his ticket to the country’s greatest race when overcoming a 30m handicap to defend his 2019 race title in this year’s running of the 2700m feature.
Robyns Playboy will take winning form into the New Zealand Cup, with Sunday’s front-running win coming in his final public appearance before the second Tuesday in November.
“He won’t have another race before the cup, we usually give him two weeks between races, so we will stick to that,” Chris Wilson said.
Robyns Playboy’s win for driver Craig Ferguson came after he disappointed when fifth behind Pembrook Playboy in his last outing at Ascot Park.
The Wilsons made changes to the horse’s training regime and they instantly paid off when the pacer held off runner-up Deus Ex in a thrilling finish.
“We were a bit disappointed with his last run,” Wilson said.
“He had been having a week off after his last few starts but this time we kept hoppling him right through.”
“It worked a treat, so we will keep doing it.”
Robyns Playboy was ranked 13th, two spaces inside the 15 horse cut off for the New Zealand Cup, when its latest rankings were released last week.
With his Tuapeka Cup win likely to boost him up the order of entry, it looks nearly certain the 5yr-old will make the final field for the 3200m feature.
The way Robyns Playboy has been getting away from the standing start tapes should help him get every opportunity to figure in the finish of the New Zealand Cup.
Ferguson had the pacer in the front within the first lap of Sunday’s race courtesy of yet another quick getaway.
The Wilsons will now hope their stable star can land a front row draw and produce the same kind of beginning under the pressure of a New Zealand Cup.
The New Zealand Cup atmosphere, with its roars from of a full grandstand in the home straight, may help Robyns Playboy when he gets to Addington.
The pacer was almost a little too chilled out when running to victory in the quieter surrounds of Forbury Park.
“Craig said he was a bit lazy in the straight and he was waiting for the second horse,” Wilson said.
“But, once he got up to him near the post he took off again, so that is a good sign.”
“He looked like he was getting a bit tired, but Craig thought he was just getting a bit complacent.”
One of the most popular wins on Tuapeka Cup day came when Bev’s K One trotted to victory in race 5.
Bev’s K One is named after Tuapeka Harness Racing Club stalwart and part owner, Bev Kenny.
Fellow owner Heather Williams said Kenny, who was unable to make yesterday’s meeting, watched the race on TV with her family and got a huge thrill from her horse’s victory.
Officials said Kenny has had a long association with the club and it was special to see her win a race at their annual meeting.