By Ray Hickson
It's not lost on Robbie Dolan just how far both he and Bobbing have come in the past 15 months.
Dolan was a 3kg claimer when he guided the gelding to what’s become a trademark last to first win in a Class 1 at Wyong back in September 2018.
When they reunite in the Group 2 $250,000 Quincy Seltzer Villiers Stakes (1600m) at Randwick on Saturday, Dolan owns the reigning champion apprentice title and Bobbing is a Provincial Championships winner and The Kosciuszko placegetter.
“I suppose both of us have come along way since we've last seen each other,’’ Dolan said.
“I remember riding him at Wyong and I was still a 3kg claiming apprentice at the time.
“He was a long way off the last horse and off the bridle, and I was thinking I was going to be tailed off, and all of a sudden he picked the bit up and dashed home and won easy in the end.
“That seems to be his normal pattern, he gets a long way back and spits the bridle out and then flies home.’’
As much as Dolan hopes Bobbing can make a bit of use of barrier three he realises their chances will be dictated by the speed in the Villiers and their passage through, or around, the field.
That’s why he says it’s tougher for a jockey to ride a backmarker, you’re relying on a number of factors out of your control.
“It's a lot easier to ride a front runner, you get them out and into a rhythm and it's ABC,’’ Dolan said.
“Riding a backmarker there's ABCDE and F. You have to take into account which horses to follow, are you going to get to the outside or cut the corner and save a couple of lengths.
“You never fully know what's going to happen until the race pans out.’’
He knows Bobbing ($8.50 with TAB) is going to be conceding a decent start to race favourite Quackerjack ($3) but he strikes Dolan as a horse that will relish the Randwick mile.
Bobbing is a regular sectional star in his races and his last start sixth in the Group 3 Festival Stakes (1500m) was no exception as he clocked the fastest last 200m of the race of 11.36 and was 0.04 off the race best final 600m running 34.40 (Punter's Intelligence).
With a free ticket into the Group 1 Doncaster Mile (1600m) on Day 1 of The Championships up for grabs, Dolan hopes things pan out better for him on Saturday than they did for James Innes Jnr in the Festival Stakes.
Bobbing runs sixth in the Festival Stakes at Rosehill on November 30
The six-year-old found himself last on the fence coming to the turn, he was still last just inside the 200m when he finally worked across heels and was only beaten 3.8 lengths by Ranier.
“It looked as if the horse travelled into the race good with him and put himself in a position where it was too late to get to the outside,’’ Dolan said.
“As soon as he got to the outside he lengthened really well at the end.
“It always makes it easier when there is a genuine tempo for the backmarkers. Quackerjack is the type of horse that can sustain a strong gallop the whole way and be hard to run down.
“Hopefully they go a quick enough tempo where a couple of them can get tired and I can run over the lot of them.’’