New Zealand sprinter Robson is on track to contest the TAB Melbourne Cup following his brilliant victory in the Waterloo Cup at Manukau on Sunday.
Jumping from box 5 in the group 1 feature, the former Western Australian sprinter proved too strong for the high class field, claiming victory in a slick winning time of 30.32.
First run in 1878, the Waterloo Cup is one of New Zealand’s most sought after feature races. In 2017 it was added as a TAB Melbourne Cup exemption race, granting the winner direct entry into the Cup heats. Bigtime Paddy won the Waterloo Cup that year and ran a credible fourth in the Cup heats.
While Robson’s immediate goal is the NZ$125,000 to the winner New Zealand Cup, a tilt at the world’s greatest greyhound race is firmly on the agenda.
“He’s got the (NZ Cup) heat here on Sunday week at Manukau so he’ll have to run first or second in that or he’ll have to make three trips to Christchurch which is not ideal,” trainer Peter Ferguson told DogZone on NZ television.
“We’d like to think we’ll go but we’ll make sure everything is 100% with the dog and the travel.”
Ferguson has enjoyed considerable success on both sides of the Tasman as one of Australasia’s most respected harness drivers, however Robson’s victory in the Waterloo Cup was his first with the collar and lead and was excited by the prospect of taking on Australia’s fastest sprinters.
“I’ve been really lucky and been blessed with some really nice dogs and Robson is obviously at the top of that list.
“It’s a huge buzz to train a group 1 winner and it’s something that will stay with me forever, that’s for sure.”
New Zealand may have two representatives in the TAB Melbourne Cup heats with Craig Roberts also weighing up a trip across the ‘ditch’ with Waterloo Cup runner up Dyna Dave.
Dyna Dave earned an exemption into the Cup heats by winning the New Zealand leg of the National Sprint Championship in August. He finished third in the final at Cannington and has now won over $217,000 in prize money despite his only feature win coming the Amazing Chase match race series.
If successful in their TAB Melbourne Cup pursuit, Robson or Dyna Dave would become the second New Zealand greyhound to win the Cup following Kwik Metal’s victory in 1974,
The New Zealand Cup final will be run at Addington, Christchurch on Thursday 14 November. The heats of the TAB Melbourne Cup will be run on Friday 22 November with the $630,000 final to be run on Friday 29 November.
Connections cheer home Robson to win the 2019 Waterloo Cup at Manukau