By Tony Megahey
For accomplished regional trainer Rodney Robb there will positives in either victory or defeat for his talented but complicated sprinter Thermosa at Tuesday’s Gunnedah TAB Summer Cup meeting.
Robb, the Nyngan-based winner of successive NSW Racing’s $50,000 Picnic Championships, has elected to run Thermosa, a winner of three of just four starts, with the massive impost of 62kg.
Bigger occasions are anticipated by Robb as he engages in-form Mathew Cahill for a Porchetta Day @GJC Class 3 over 1300m.
“If he wins again with that weight, he’s capable of progressing to the Dubbo Leg of the Country Championships next month and that big prize money - that’s the plan,” Robb explains.
“But if we get beaten, he’s still class three so we’re still eligible to have a crack at a Highway race in town.”
The Dubbo Country Championships Qualifier kicks off the 2019 series on Sunday February 10.
Thermosa makes it three from four at Dubbo on December 10
Robb, riding high with 24 wins this season and 48 in the previous, says despite three career wins, including an impressive short course double at Dubbo in recent weeks carrying 58.5kg and 57.5 kg, Thermosa has been a “real problem to train”.
“He’s a huge fierce going unit - highly strung, like he runs on fear, so you’ve got to stay on your guard,” Robb says.
“He pulls, over-races and won’t settle, but still keeps winning.
“We’ve gone with an experienced senior rider in Matty to try and get him to relax more. So he’ll maybe get the 1400m of that Dubbo leg.
“This is first run past 1100m. With 62kg, we seriously considered claiming again.
“But he’s so powerful and a task for any apprentice. In the end we thought he’s big enough to lump that weight in this grade.
“Tough, robust bugger too. He just keeps giving his all even though he does things wrong. I’ll tell you if it was Rugby League and not racing he’d be a front rower and a damn good one.”
Thermosa is by far the best of three Robb runners to be ridden by Cahill on Tuesday - the others Star Express and Dead Reckoning offer little confidence from Robb.
In the annual GJC $22,000 Summer Cup BM 58 (1600m), Brett Cavanough’s top weight Reward the Chaser a dual race winner is the galloper to beat, coming off a respectable TAB Highway effort at Warwick Farm, and last start non TAB winner Cricklewood for Craig Martin.
Down in the weights on 54kg, Bring the Joy will have admirers after a convincing last start Quirindi win.
Again, champion regional rider Greg Ryan has numerous strong chances while rising apprentice Reece Jones also has several well placed contenders advantaged by his claim.