A decision to turn down a full book of Sydney rides at Rosehill on Saturday to partner the soon-to-be Peter Robl-trained Centre Pivot in Brisbane’s Bernborough Handicap 2015 proved a winning move from jockey Blake Shinn.
Shinn made himself unavailable at home in favour of heading to Doomben Racecourse on Saturday to jump aboard the currently John Sargent-trained Centre Pivot in the $175,000 Listed Treasury Casino & Hotel Bernborough Handicap (1615m).
The final leg of the Brisbane Summer Racing Sprint Series, the markets were dominated by the likes of Hopfgarten and Traveston Girl who ran second and first respectively in the Brisbane Handicap the run before but only 12th and fourth respectively in the Bernborough.
Jumping at $7.50 in betting was Sydney visitor Centre Pivot who is set to join jockey-turned-trainer Robl from Sargent for a Magic Millions Race Day bid at the Gold Coast next month.
The More Than Ready five-year-old improved on two unplaced Rosehill runs from November on Saturday in his Doomben debut with Shinn guiding Centre Pivot to a nice half-length win over Robert Heathcote’s up-in-class gelding Lordag ($11).
The John Zielke-trained Choisir four-year-old Worthy Cause ($5) came back from a strong Melbourne Spring Racing Carnival campaign and finished in the money again crossing two and a quarter lengths off the winner to finish off the trifecta.
A close friend of Robl, Shinn was full of post-win praise for the horse and his upcoming trainer who will take Centre Pivot to the Gold Coast on January 9 for connections at Segenhoe Stud for a shot at the $1 million Magic Millions Trophy (1800m).
“This is very special for me to win for Peter today,” Melbourne Cup winning hoop Shinn told The Sunday Mail.
“Even though it’s not official yet, I think this is the start of something big for him (Robl).”
Robl meanwhile was also full of praise for Shinn who he called the “best rider in Australia”.
“Blake galloped this horse in blinkers a week and a half ago and said straight away he was coming here to ride him,” he said.
“That’s how good he went. I think he’s the best rider in Australia so when he gives up nine rides at Rosehill you know the horse is going to be hard to beat.”
Unsuitable Sydney tracks last month were to blame for Centre Pivot’s two earlier failures back home according to Robl who said the horse’s improvement was also to do with the addition of blinkers.
“The first two runs this prep he was on rain affected tracks but this was perfect today and the blinkers added the extra dimension,” he said.
“John Sargent has done a great job with him and hopefully I can continue that going forward.”
As for the upcoming 2016 Magic Millions Trophy, formerly the MM Staying Cup, Robl said the three weeks between runs for the Bernborough Handicap winner looked ideal.
“If he gets there in three weeks he will be something to beat,” he said.
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2015 Bernborough Handicap Results
Doomben Race 9 – 19/12/2015
|1||3||CENTRE PIVOT||John Sargent||Blake Shinn||–||9||57.5kg||$7.50|
|2||11||LORDAG||Robert Heathcote||Jeff Lloyd||1L||5||54kg||$11|
|3||2||WORTHY CAUSE||John Zielke||Luke Dittman (a)||2.3L||3||58kg||$5|
|4||4||TRAVESTON GIRL||Tony Gollan||Ms Tegan Harrison||2.7L||7||55.5kg||$6.50|
|5||7||TRAKSTAR||Tony Gollan||Robbie Fradd||3.2L||13||54kg||$61|
|6||6||BEWHATYOUWANNABE||Robert Heathcote||Michael Cahill||5.2L||4||54kg||$18|
|7||5||SHOTOVER RIVER (NZ)||John, Dan & Chris Meagher||Brad Stewart||5.7L||12||54kg||$14|
|8||13||ANNA LIZZIE||Danny J Bougoure||Anthony Allen||6L||11||54kg||$61|
|9||8||VICTORY HOTEL||Trevor Miller||James Orman (a)||6.4L||8||54kg||$31|
|10||10||FELTRE||Lynn Tipper||Ryan Wiggins||6.8L||1||54kg||$16|
|11||12||ROLE MODEL (NZ)||Gai Waterhouse||Glen Boss||7L||2||54kg||$6.50|
|12||1||HOPFGARTEN||Robert Heathcote||Craig Williams||7.5L||6||59kg||$4.60F|
|13||14||TOP TONE||Lorraine Erhart||Anthony Erhart||27.5L||10||54kg||$26|
|–||9||BLUE LION (NZ)||Paul H Duncan||Luke Tarrant (a)||–||0||–||–|