By Tony Megahey
Emerging first season Nyngan trainer Brett Robb is up-beat about the prospects of rejuvenated veteran Lucienne into Saturday’s TAB $22,000 Parkes Gold Cup May 16 Open Hcp, 1400m.
“She’s been injury prone, lost form and confidence, at seven her owners had given up-Wellington was probably her last chance and she did a real job on them,” Brett enthused.
“It was like she’d overhead them talking about sacking her, she’s a cunning old girl.
"She won on her ear and can go on with it, mares generally hold their form.”
The seven-year-old Stratum mare won by near three lengths with 58kg in a BM 58, 1400m, two weeks ago at Wellington and drops to 55kg for Clayton Gallagher in a Parkes Open Hcp.
“I’ve ridden her work all career. Dad (Rodney) trained her, transferred her to me when he cut back. Dad’s back home with me, training a few after looking after Clint Lundholm’s stables for a few months at Dubbo,'' he said.
Lucienne wins at Wellington on January 11
"With the right circumstances I knew she was capable of finding some form again. She’s had ongoing injuries - at her age it’s that much harder to recover.
“She crashed through a fence, spooked by Kangaroos one night and knocked herself about pretty bad.
“When we finally got her right again she struck wet tracks - doesn’t go a yard in them. I thought she’d worked well enough to win at Forbes but it bucketed down before the race. And getting older she is looking for more ground.
“She’s always been quirky, stresses when we have to travel but she always had that ability. Early career we thought she was up to a city mid-weeker.”
Lucienne has the admirable record of eight wins and nine placings from 51 career starts.
“Our best on the day for sure, Clayton has won on her before and they’ll be right on pace in that small field.
“I’ve got a cheeky chance with Chastise (race 4) a gelding from Rod Northam. Won well over 1100m at Dubbo in easier grade, weight drop, drawn in and better suited out to 1400m.”
Brett is having a productive initial season with seven winners after taking over the family Nyngan stables as long-time foreman when his father, regional great Rodney, cut back to semi-retirement.
At present for seven races, Parkes is assessed a good four track in fine weather.