Austin finds form in Cobar Cup

Wendy Peel leads Austin to Victory in the 2020 Cobar Cup on Saturday. Photo: Sarsfield Racing Photography.

Rodney Robb’s old warhorse Austin bounced back to winning ways on Saturday when taking out the 2020 Cobar Cup.

Ridden by Wendy Peel, the seven-year-old justified the short $2.20 quote, getting home by 0.81 of a length over Russell Hogan’s Cooee March and Garry Bignell’s Another Plan.

Robb, who spent a large chunk of his life living and working in Cobar, was chuffed to win another feature race at his old stomping ground.

“It’s always great to win the Cobar Cup, I lived there for six and half years and trained a few there when I worked on the railway,” Robb said.

“I’ve won the (Cobar) Cup at least six times.”

Austin has been a dogged performer for Robb and now boasts 11 wins, 16 placings and $174,585 in prizemoney from 59 starts.

The Savabeel gelding was also the inaugural winner of the NSW Picnic Champion Series back in 2018, and has proven time and time again to be a terrific country campaigner.

“He is the toughest horse I have ever trained, I know a lot of people think he turns it up and does this and does that, but considering his life, he is doing pretty well,” Robb said.

Connections almost lost Austin when he was younger, with Robb thinking he would die after a severe bout of Colic.

“He nearly died there on us years ago, he got a colic attack and I honestly thought he wouldn’t get through it,” Robb said.

“He did get through it though, he is just one of them horses, he is a real favourite of mine (and) I get a real kick out of him winning after everything he has been through.”

Robb did originally plan on targeting the 2020 NSW Picnic Champion Series, with Saturday’s meeting at Narromine on the agenda, but connections decided others and Robb will now take Austin to Parkes for their cup meeting on Sunday.

“We had all intentions on heading to Narromine and hopefully make the Picnic Champion (Series) final but the owners wanted to go to Parkes,” Robb said.

“If they have a few more picnic meetings, we might still try and get in but I don’t know at the moment, it just depends on what Racing NSW do with the picnics.”

The Nyngan trainer ended up training three winners at Cobar on Saturday, with Clayton Gallagher booting home Moment of Hope in the 1200m Class One and Bray in the 1200m Benchmark 50 Handicap.

“It was a really good day but credit to Cobar, they did a great job there on Saturday, they stood up and raced and copped the loss,” Robb said.

“It was good advertising for the club and trainers will remember what they did, well they should anyways.”

Parkes trainer Sharon Jeffries also had a good day at Cobar, combining with apprentice hoop Kate Cowan to win the 1000m Maiden Plate with Not Negotiating and the 1370m Class Two with Indiana Wolf.

Connie Greig also left a winner, with the Dubbo trainer winning the 1000m Benchmark 58 after James Rogers booted home Call Me Trinity.