Austin wins the 2020 WesTrac Cobar Cup

The Rodney Robb-trained seven year old gelding, Austin, won the WestTrac Cobar Cup on Saturday ahead of Cooee March, trained by Russell Hogan.

The Cobar Miners Race Club annual Autumn racing event took place on Saturday at the Dalton Park Horse Sports Complex minus the usual large crowd of spectators.

Due to the government’s COVID-19 crowd restrictions, spectators were banned from attending the race meeting however the committee was still keen to see the six event program go ahead and it did in ideal race day conditions.

Nyngan trainer Rodney Robb fared well on the day including a WesTrac Cobar Cup win with Austin. The now seven year old gelding has travelled vast distances between meetings while winning 10 races including the Cup race on Saturday.

Initially trained in Sydney by Chris Waller, Austin had 15 starts and won a 1,400 metres Maiden Handicap at Kembla Grange in 2016.

Now owned by Wayne Brown and partners, Austin, during the time with Robb, has started 44 times and won at Warren, Trangie, Mallawa, Birdsville (QLD), Dubbo, Quambone, Louth, Cobar and twice at Bedourie (QLD).

Wendy Peel, who is apprenticed to Robb, has been in the saddle for the most recent wins, the Louth Cup, Bedourie Handicap and the Cobar Cup.

Judging the pace nicely, Peel led all the way on Austin ($2.20 favourite) when beating Cooee March (Michael Heagney, $3) by threequarters of a length with Another Plan (James Rogers, $3.40) over five lengths away third in the 1,700 metres in the Cobar Cup on Saturday.

Robb also won with Moment Of Hope and Bray, both ridden very well by Clayton Gallagher who is apprenticed to Robb.

Moment Of Hope ($2.20 favourite) had the run of the race before coming down the outside to win the Class 1 Handicap (1,200 metres) by almost four lengths from Eagleworks (Rasit Yetimova, $10) and Red Russian (Michael Heagney, $13).

Raced by several Tottenham Picnic Race Club committee members, Bray ($1.60 fav.) was given a good run behind the leaders by  Gallagher before winning by nearly two lengths from Late Return (Jake Pracey-Holmes, $5) and Bowie’s Boy (Chelsea Ings, $8) in the 1,200 metres Benchmark 50 Handicap.

Another to have a good day at Cobar was Parkes trainer Sharon Jeffries with a winning double with Not Negotiating and Indiana Wolf.

Formerly from New Zealand and now apprenticed to Kody Nestor at Dubbo, Kate Cowan, in a fast run race, had Not Negotiating ($8) in a nice position before finishing best to beat Magic Gift (Gallagher, $4.60) and the heavily backed leader Princess Zafirah (Pracey-Holmes, $2 favourite) in the 1,000 metres Maiden Plate.

Indiana Wolf (Cowan, $4.40), after travelling third, took the lead but hung out in the straight and survived a protest to win the 1,370 metres Class 2 Handicap by a short neck from Dizzy Success (Rogers, $10) with Admit One (Peel, $4.40) finishing third.

The trip from Dubbo by trainer Connie Greig was worthwhile as she won the 1,000 metres Benchmark 58 Handicap with Call Me Trinity (Rogers, $9) which hit the lead then lasted to beat the fast finishing Plectrum (Ings, $6) by a short head with Supreme Times (Gallagher, $5) a length away third.

Local horses Vonnida and Jawsome, owned by the Cobar Camels syndicate and trained by Allan ‘Wap’ Prisk, both finished at the tail end of the fields