Wilson team shaping up well
By Jonny Turner
Would the real Robyns Playboy please stand up?
That is the question trainers Ross and Chris Wilson will be ask their 5yr-old when he steps out in the feature pace at Ascot Park on Thursday.
The Shadow Play pacer labelled ‘the beast from the east’ by some of his fans was scintillating first up after lockdown, before running fifth of six behind See Ya Write among a classy line up a week later.
Though the result was not too inspiring, Robyns Playboy’s closing sectionals were.
And if he is able to repeat them in race 7 he would be awfully hard to catch.
“We timed his last mile in 1.54, home in 55sec [800m] and 26sec [400m], but he just didn’t seem as sharp as he was first up,” Chris Wilson said.
“He missed away, which added to his handicap, too.”
“He went sideways when the tapes went, which is not like him and it didn’t help.”
The Wilson stable were rapt with Robyns Playboy’s work leading in to his resuming run, but have not been quite so enthused by his training this week.
“I think he will go alright, he hasn’t quite been zipping up the straight in work this week like he was before his first run,” Wilson said.
“But, he has only had two fast runs since his last start – we gave him a week off.”
“There is nothing wrong with him, so he should go a good race.”
Robyns Playboy blasted to the lead in his last win from the same barrier 8 draw he starts from on Thursday.
Though this time there is the possibility driver Craig Ferguson could use different tactics.
“We don’t quite know what to do and what the instructions for Craig will be,” Wilson said.
Rocknroll King looks the hardest horse for Robyns Playboy to hold out.
The Kirstin Barclay and Tank Ellis trained 5yr-old beat his main rival home in their last clash with See Ya Write, before he went on to run a strong second behind Tom Martin at Ascot Park last week.
Another of the Wilson stable’s Shadow Play pacers looks a strong winning chance from barrier 2 in race 8.
Robyns Shadow was a late scratching shortly before start time when set to make his latest outing at Ascot Park last month.
The 4yr-old has recovered from the stone bruise that sidelined him and he has worked well since.
“He has been working with Robyns Playboy this week and they haven’t been able to get past Shadow, so that is a good sign,” Wilson said.
Annie Fitz has also worked well leading in to race 5 and it’s hoped she can get the run she likes from barrier 1.
“She is just full of beans.”
“Her work has been super – she only gallops, she doesn’t do pacework – and she has had a really good attitude the last couple of weeks.”
“Drawn one, we can choose who we hand up to and hopefully she can have the trail all the way.”
Von Art looks a solid chance for the Wilsons in race 3 despite not having the same kind of good recent form her stablemates do.
If the 4yr-old can find clear air from barrier 1 on the second row, she could feature in the finish in a largely out of form line up.
“It is not a bad draw, I think she could be three back on the pegs.”
“She is definitely a chance, she is more of a grinder than a sprinter, so she will need to be pretty close to them turning for home.”