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Whiterig trainers Ross and Chris Wilson won the curtain-raiser with Robyns Shadow at Young Quinn Raceway yesterday and now have their sights on the main event with Robyns Playboy.
There was little time for the father-and-son training team to celebrate their 4yr-old’s win in race 4 yesterday as they had a trip to Addington for tonight’s Group 2 Canterbury Classic to prepare for.
Robyns Shadow sealed a deserved win following two strong second placings and gave Craig Ferguson his 200th career victory in the sulky.
Ferguson made it win 201 with Chuckles in race 7, proving he is in top form.
"Craig drove Robyn’s Shadow a treat and he got the double with Chuckles so he finished off the night well.
"He’s coming in in white-hot form. We might just have to keep a lid on his enthusiasm,’’ Chris Wilson joked yesterday.
“To be fair, it is hard to get his heartbeat above 50 sometimes.’’
Robyns Shadow has shown promise but he has been held back at times by hoof issues.
"He has had trouble with his feet.
"He has had stone bruises and abscesses and even at the start of this season he has been bothered by a couple,” Wilson said.
"But I think he has been back feeling pretty good now and we have been really happy with him.”
The Wilson camp has been thrilled with Robyns Playboy following his big fresh-up second in the Hannon Memorial at Oamaru last month.
Generally a smart beginner, the pacer looks capable of putting himself in a handy spot and shoring up his New Zealand Cup claims in the star-studded line-up.
"On Wednesday he felt super in his work.
"There is nothing wrong with him — we have just got to hope he travels up all right and it’s a nice smooth trip.
“He will have a wander around a few times on the way up to stretch his legs and then we will be up there with bells on.”
The two Robyns, both by Shadow Play, are close relations.
Robyns Shadow’s third dam is Ross Wilson’s two-time group 1 winner Robyn’s Treasure.
Robyns Playboy’s second dam is a half-sister to Robyn’s Treasure in Maree Robyn.
Another less heralded sire and a former stablemate of Shadow Play at Alabar Stud, Sportwriter, was to the fore at yesterday’s meeting.
The stallion produced Sporty Charlie for an outstanding debut win in race 6.
Held up on the home turn by a tiring leader, the Brad Morris-trained pacer looked in trouble before producing a brilliant burst of speed to reel in runner-up Unsurpassable and score.