Race caller Darren Flindell couldn’t separate The Terry Robinson-trained King’s Trust and the Lyle Chandler-prepared Banju in the TAB Highway Handicap at Royal Randwick on Saturday, with the two-gallopers hitting the line locked together.
King’s Trust found the front in the 1400m Class Two Handicap for Tommy Berry and the raced looked a forgone conclusion; that was until Banju fought back to make it a race when under the hard riding of Jean Van Overmeire.
The photo was sent up to the judges, and in the end, King’s Trust emerged victorious from Banju, winning by just 0.01 of a length, while the fast-finishing Optimo placed third for trainer, Mark Schmetzer.
According to Robinson, it was a well-earned and well-overdue win, with the six-year-old last greeting the judge some 13 months ago, when winning a Class Three TAB Highway Handicap at Newcastle in November of last year.
“It was great to see the horse win again,” Robinson said.
“It’s been a long time between drinks for him.”
King’s Trust started $7.50 following a very good second placing in the 1200m Class Two TAB Highway at Rosehill late last month, when going down by just 0.24 of a length to impressive Braidwood galloper, Testator Silens.
“Look, his last start; I though he went super,” he said.
“He just found one that was just a bit too good, and it (Testator Silens) might be a really nice horse.”
A good track and genuine tempo looked to have helped the Hichinbrook gelding on what was a stunning Randwick course.
“Straight to getting back on a good track too and there seemed to be genuine pace on in the race today, which definitely suited him and it’s great to have him back in the winner’s circle,” he said.
Getting the win means all the more to Robinson and his loyal group of owners, who have waited patiently for the gelding to win his third race at start 22.
“He is probably a little bit suspect at the 1400m. He was three weeks between runs, and I think he’s done a really good job,” he said.
“I must give big raps to all the owners. They have really hung in with this horse. We’ve had a lot of setbacks with him and it’s just great that they have hung in there and we’ve got a win.”
Tommy Berry continued his successful affiliation with the country stable, which has been made famous in recent times due to the exploits of stable star, Art Cadeau.
“We’ve got a great relationship with him (Berry). He knows the horse well and it’s great to have him on board,” he said.
Robinson and his stable will head back to the country tomorrow, with three gallopers engaged to race at Moruya, including Roseirro in the 1300m Narooma Cup.