A reinvigorated Ninth Legion has claimed his second straight black type success in Saturday’s Civic Stakes at Rosehill.
A dual acceptor also down to contest the Glasshouse Handicap at the Sunshine Coast, trainer Peter Robl pulled the right reign with Ninth Legion by electing to return south to Sydney for the Listed Civic Stakes (1350m).
Settled outside the pace set by Oxford Poet, Ninth Legion Horseform levelled up with Oxford Poet inside the furlong before holding off a fast finishing Better Not Blue for a slender success.
Today’s Civic Stakes was his second stakes win in as many starts having claimed the Listed Eye Liner Stakes (1350m) at Ipswich a fortnight earlier.
“He’s been a terrific horse to me as a jockey and now as a trainer,” Peter Robl said.
“I won the Villiers on him and he’s now won two black type races for me as a trainer. He is going to do me wonders.”
“Team Hawkes have done a wonderful job with him. He came to me with no issues, no problems whatsoever.
“A change of environment and a couple of different things I’m doing with him seem to be working with him.”
The Fastnet Rock gelding struggled earlier this campaign however has turned his form around since being ridden positively.
“We rode him positive in the Eye Liner and when I rode him as a jockey I was always positive on him,” Robl said.
“I thought that was the best way to get the best out of him. When you switch him off he doesn’t switch back on.
“I said to Sam to follow Oxford Poet across. If they want to play games don’t be afraid to go to the front on him. He is fit, tough and he keeps giving.
“Sam rode him as good I could ride it.”
It was the second time Sam Clipperton had partnered the gelding under race conditions having previously finished second aboard the six-year-old in the 2015 Group 2 Apollo Stakes (1400m) at Randwick behind Contributer Horseform.
“He drew awkwardly on paper and it was always going to be interesting to see where we were going to end up,” Clipperton said.
“We were able to creep across and get up outside of the leader.
“He always travelled up like the winner but he was probably getting a little tired late and had a bit of a look around with the big weight.
“He is a class horse and Peter Robl has done a great job with presenting him this preparation. It is nice to get the win.
“He is doing a great job with his all of his horses and getting some good support. It is nice to be able to ride a feature race winner for him.”
Saturday’s Civic Stakes was Ninth Legion’s eighth career win from 43 starts and now has prizemoney earnings closing in on the $1million mark.