First win, first quinella for Robertson
By Jonny Turner
Mitchell Robertson made doubly sure of his first win as a trainer when he produced Vintage Beach and Touche for a quinella finish at Forbury Park on Thursday night.
Robertson scored his first win in style, just weeks after joining his father, Peter, in a training partnership when Vintage Beach and driver Samantha Ottley held out Touche and Sheree Tomlinson by half a head in an exciting finish to race 2.
The rookie trainer said he was thrilled to notch his first win with just his tenth and eleventh starters.
“It was a big thrill,” Robertson said.
“Its been good so far, although it has probably been a bit of a shaky start with a few horses coming off lengthy spells and taking a few starts to really shape up.”
“But, things have hopefully turned the corner now.”
Robertson has been a regular at race meetings across the South Island, on hand with the team that was previously trained under his father’s name.
This season, the timing seemed right for the horseman to take out his licence.
“I have been involved all of my life, really,” Robertson said.
“We have been in an unofficial partnership for the last couple of years before we decided to finalise things up this year.”
Some fine tuning helped Vintage Beach bounce back to form with a fighting victory after battling in his two prior starts following an extended spell.
“He was awful last start, but he blew pretty hard and we found a couple of things that weren’t quite right,” Robertson said.
“So, we upped his work and it seemed to do the trick .”
Robertson has a keen eye for a horse and has acted as an agent in a good number of sales to Australia.
He has been also found plenty of horses the he and has father have purchased and turned in to winners.
Robertson also has shares in horses that have been placed with other trainers.
His night got even better when one of those – Jamie’s Bad Boy - won race 6.
The Mark Jones trained pacer went from zero to hero, as he went in to last night’s win after producing a shocking last start performance at Timaru.
Jamie’s Bad Boy look set for a huge victory, after sitting throughout, but he threw his chances away with a gallop when clear in the home straight.
There were no similarly dramatic scenes when the 6yr-old, last night.
Robertson again notched a win with driver Samantha Ottley, who steered Jamie’s Bad Boy to a comfortable victory.
There was another first at Forbury Park last night, with junior driver Kerryn Tomlinson scoring her first double.
She drove Mordecai to win race 3 and Sweet Mary to win race 4, the meeting’s feature pace.
Tomlinson went home with more than just her winning driving percentages as she shares in the ownership of Mordecai.
The reinswoman’s race-to-race double took her to 10 career victories.