Brett Robb’s ‘dead-set little trier’ set for picnic final

Brett Robb and Combogolong. Photo: Racing Photography.

He is up there as one of the most in-form gallopers in NSW, and on Sunday, Combogolong will contest the $50,000 NSWPRA Picnic Champion Series. 

The Brett Robb trained six-year-old is only lightly raced, starting just 12 times, but he went through his first five starts, placing just once.

Following a decent spell, the Chat Up Line gelding returned to racing in fine form earlier this year, flourishing on the picnic and country scene, winning five times and running second in seven starts. 

During a golden run under the guidance of leading picnic jockey, Maddy Wright, Combogolong won his maiden at Quambone picnics, before registering two more picnic victories at Moree and Mudgee. 

Following a tough outing at Cowra in July, the Dubbo galloper then won another picnic race at Coonamble for Wright, before breaking through on the TAB circuit, taking out the 1200m Benchmark 58 Handicap for Casey Waddell at Narromine last month.

“He is a dead-set little trier,” Robb said. 

‘He won three straight and he was a Class One TAB horse, but he just gives his all every time.”

Combogolong hasn’t raced since finishing second in a 1400m Class Two Trophy Handicap at Gunnedah on August 28 and Robb explained that the stable had kept him ticking over, keeping him ready and raring for the final.

“Look, he has been a while between runs, but we have kept him nice and fresh,” Robb said.

“He has had two jump outs in between. The only question is whether he will get the 1400m.”

Robb was pleased with his galloper’s only run over 1400m to date, and he was quietly confident that he would get the seven-furlong trip in the rich final.

“We tried him once over 1400m and he had 72kg on his back and he was on a heavy track and I thought he did okay,” Robb said. 

“Now he goes from 72kg to 65k, its’ set weights and it’s a better track. It’s all even and I think it is a good race for him; I think he will run very well.”

Despite drawing gate 10, the stable expects Combogolong to go forward under the guidance of Paula Heath. 

“He will get out and show a bit of speed. I think he will be up in the first three,” Robb said.

“When he gets back, he looks around and loses interest, so we will let him run them along and if he gets a soft run, he is a big chance.” 

Robb looks to have two big chances in the final, also preparing race favourite, On A Promise, and with leading picnic jockey Brent Evans in the saddle, he was confident he had the winner. 

“On A Promise will be on the speed and be up there and he is the horse to beat,” Robb said. 

“He is going well and his win in the Benchmark 58 at Narromine was good, and I think he is right for a race like this.”

While the Picnic Champion Series final is a big talking point at Coonamble, the $75,000 Coonamble Cup is the feature on the program, and again, Robb has a major player in the form of consistent country sprinter, A Magic Zariz. 

“He is a chance. He can lead, sit of the speed or do anything really,” Robb said. 

“If he gets an ounce of luck and gets a good run in the race, he can be very competitive.”

Full fields to the Coonamble meeting are available by clicking here.