Former champion hoop turned trainer Peter Robl has confirmed the stable’s last start Eye Liner Stakes winner Ninth Legion will head home to Sydney for a Civic Stakes 2016 run at Rosehill Gardens this Saturday.
The Fastnet Rock six-year-old was also accepted for a Sunshine Coast run on Caloundra Cup Day in the $175,000 Listed Glasshouse Handicap (1400m).
He won’t run in the Queensland Black-Type however, instead carrying the 59kg top weight in the $100,000 Listed Civic Stakes (1350m) over the same distance he won the Listed Eye Liner Stakes at Ipswich on June 18.
Ninth Legion boasts an outstanding record over that distance of five wins, four seconds and three thirds from 18 runs to date that he’s out to add to from barrier nine of nine on the weekend with Sam Clipperton in the saddle.
Clipperton has had just the one ride on the horse to date for a second to Contributer in the Group 2 Apollo Stakes (1400m) at Randwick in February last year.
Robl said the likely firmer track at Rosehill as well as the galloper’s wide draw at Caloundra were both contributing factors to the decision of where to run Ninth Legion who has won over $922,000 in prize money.
“I spoke with (jockey) Damian Browne, who has galloped some horses at the Sunshine Coast earlier this week, and (he) said it is just on the better side of Slow,” Robl told Racing Victoria on Thursday.
“At Rosehill, it is 18 and sunny today, the same is expected tomorrow and the same again on Saturday.
“Also we have drawn barrier 11 in the Glasshouse and looking at the form, I think the three horses to beat are Sacred Star, Stratum Star and Saluter and they have drawn barriers one, two and three.
“We are likely to get posted three wide from that barrier and while he has also drawn wide in Sydney, it is probably a slightly easier contest.”
Current Civic Stakes betting at Ladbrokes.com.au is an open affair with five of the nine hopefuls under $10 for the win.
Sitting top of the Civic Stakes odds at $3.30 is the Kim Waugh-trained Oxford Poet coming off a third to Danish Twist in the Listed June Stakes (1100m) at Randwick on June 11.
The next best in the markets are the Chris Waller-trained track and distance specialist Marenostro ($4.50), and Peter & Paul Snowden’s recent Group 3 BRC Sprint (1350m) winner in Brisbane Snippets Land ($4.50).
Ninth Legion meanwhile pays $8 to take out the title, which would be just his second win from his past 17 starts.
Win or lose in the Civic Stakes, Robl plans to send Ninth Legion out for a short spell before coming back in the spring.
“There isn’t too many options for a horse like him after the weekend so I’ll probably turn him out for three weeks and then look to bring him back for some Listed, Group 3 races in the early part of the spring,” he said.
“He is a sound horse and I think if we look after him he will be able to race at that level for the next couple of seasons.”
To back Ninth Legion or one of his rivals in the Civic Stakes 2016 make sure you’ve got an account open online at Ladbrokes.com.au – home of Odds Boost!