Wilsons form partnership ahead of NZ Cup
By Jonny Turner
Spring is setting up as an exciting time for the newly formed father and son training partnership of Ross and Chris Wilson.
The granting of Chris’s licence comes just days after Wilson stable star Robyns Playboy was nominated for the New Zealand Cup.
The partnership was formed partly as due reward for Chris’s long service and also with an eye to future success of the Wilson’s ‘Robyn’ breed.
“For the last 20 years he has been the right hand man, so he needs some recognition,” Ross said.
“And hopefully he will carry things on when I am not here.”
Chris will continue to juggle his work as a technical field rep for southern farming company Advance Agriculture with his stable duties.
An eye to the future helped convince Ross to nominate Robyns Playboy for the New Zealand Cup.
“I have only really done it because I am 69 in a couple of months time and I have never had a horse in the cup and this is the best opportunity to have one.”
Robyns Playboy will take his first public step towards the New Zealand Cup in modest circumstances when he has a workout at Gore on Saturday.
The 4-year-old will head to next week’s Winton meeting, where he is likely to square off with fellow Southland cup contender U May Cullect.
The Wilsons will then aim Robyns Playboy at the Hannon Memorial.
That race should give his trainers a good line on how their horse will measure up with his fellow New Zealand Cup nominees.
“That is the plan – we will try to test the waters, so to speak,” Ross said.
“You don’t really know how he will measure up, you just have to race them to find out.”
“When I looked at the nominations I thought there were horses there that we could beat and they think they should be there.”
Robyns Playboy proved he was competitive in Group 1 company when third at the Harness Jewels behind Jesse Duke.
That performance and his career best 15 wins helped Ross win the Achievement of the Year category at the Southland Harness Racing Awards, recently.
Robyns Playboy enjoyed a break following his Harness Jewels effort and has returned to work in good order for a horse that does not carry a huge amount of condition.
“He never looks that flash to be honest - he is a good we eater – but you would never pick him out of a crowd,” Ross said.
Robyns Playboy and U May Cullect and two of four Southland pacers nominated for the New Zealand Cup.
Sagwitch and Franco Santino have also had their names put forward for the great race.