Injured Robl keeping his hand in
By Patrick Allen
February 03, 2009 12:00am
PETER Robl is still three weeks away from returning to the saddle - but that didn't stop the Patinack Farm stable rider from having a hand in the win of Abeyant at Newcastle on Saturday.
The veteran rider has been out of action with a fractured vertebra since the horror three-horse fall at Rosehill on December 10 last year.
But since having his neck brace removed, Robl has been helping out at Patinack's Warwick Farm stables doing light duties.
"I haven't been doing the photocopying or getting Nathan (Tinkler) cups of coffee, but I have been out at the stables trying to help where I can," he said.
Robl travelled north to saddle Abeyant, a two-year-old Exceed and Excel colt, at Newcastle for head trainer Jason Coyle.
Coyle was busy preparing Abeyant's stablemate Marquardt, who won her debut at Rosehill just 20 minutes later.
"It was a terrific result for the stable," Robl said.
"I have been going out there every morning to watch the horses in their work and just generally give a hand.
"I'm still restricted to light duties but I do as much as I can and it was certainly a different experience to saddle up a horse on race day. I'd prefer to be riding them, though."
Robl has reason to be excited about getting back into the saddle.
Nathan Tinkler spent $150 million building a racing empire last year.
That included the purchase of more than 200 of the best yearlings - all of which are now two-year-olds and starting to hit the racetrack. Surprisingly, the two wins on Saturday made the total number of Patinack Farm's juvenile wins for the season just three.
But there is plenty of talent to come - and by the time Golden Slipper fever has its clutches on Sydney racing, Robl could find himself on a leading chance. Patinack Farm has a $2 million full-brother to champion race mare Alinghi set to make his debut in the Blue Diamond Prelude at Caulfield on Saturday.But first Robl must concentrate on getting the all-clear from doctors.
"The neck brace is off now, which is a start," he said.
"My neck still gets a bit stiff on one side, but it's definitely improving every day. I've started going to physio and have another CAT scan on February 10. If the scans come back clear then I should be right to go."
Fellow jockey Jeff Lloyd - who was also injured in the fall on December 10 - has suffered another setback. Lloyd was thrown from his mount Chordata at the barriers before the first race at Rosehill on Saturday and could be out for a month with a broken foot.