Robson Cruises To His Waterloo Cup Victory

Robson Cruises To His Waterloo Cup Victory


You may as well say that the Manukau Stadium 527m races belonged to Peter and Wendy Ferguson on Sunday afternoon. Geez their kennel star Robson really impressed in the strong manner that he won the $35,000 Waterloo Cup. They also produced Keysile to stylishly take out the main 527m support event, the Sandown GRC Stakes, while earlier on the card their up and coming chaser Sakichi prevailed when taking out his C2 527m event.


Pictured: The strong Waterloo Cup winner Robson


Robson came away nicely from his tricky five trap draw to settle just in behind the pacesetters when racing towards the first turn. As expected, it was the pacey Lisa Cole prepared Bigtime Cooper who used his early pace to lead the talented field into the first turn.


His kennel mate Bigtime Seth was in close attendance, along with Robson, while Thrilling Vice had quickly improved from a tardy start for his trainer Karen Walsh. The Craig Roberts trained race favourite Dyna Dave was caught in midfield traffic, trying to find a racing passage when rounding the first turn.


It was the pair of Cole contenders sighted at the head of the field down the back straight with Robson sitting poised ready to strike. He effortlessly strode up the pacemakers around the home turn from where he seized the race lead to stride clear for his comfortable 6.5 length Group 1 win, clocking a smart 30.32s. Dyna Dave fairly stormed home late to claim the runners up prize. It’s quite amazing that this absolute quality chaser has yet to taste success at Group race level.


Bigtime Levi has been an ultra-consistent chaser for Cole for a long period of time and he was rewarded with his third placing when he was also sighted charging home late.2.5 lengths further behind. In doing so this son of Spring Gun and Bigtime Karen cut Bigtime Cooper out of third by a half-length margin and that landed the $1,000 Breeders bonus for the Coles by being the first New Zealand bred greyhound to finish in the Group 1 event.




The Waterloo Cup winner Robson with (from left) Wendy & Peter Ferguson, Carol and Ian O’Neil; runner up Dyna Dave and the third-placed Bigtime Levi


The victory earned Robson an exemption into a heat for the A$630,000 Melbourne Cup which will be contested at Sandown Park over the last half of November. The gold plated Melbourne Cup was on display during the Waterloo Cup meeting with the connections of Robson taking a photo opportunity with the Melbourne Cup as did Craig Roberts as Dyna Dave has also earnt a Melbourne Cup heat exemption via his Aussie Nationals NZ Middle Distance win.




The gold plated TAB Melbourne Cup; Robson was the guest of honour in the Manukau Stadium after the race meeting seen here with Pete Ferguson holding the TAB Melbourne Cup; Craig Roberts is sighted here with the TAB Melbourne Cup and with Sandown GRC Media and Racing manager Mick Floyd


“Robson’s win was very satisfying – it was the fruition of a plan. I knew he was ready for a big effort on Sunday. He had a really good week leading into the race and when I paraded him to the traps, I knew then that he was really focused. He came away nicely and it was when they were at the 318m traps when I felt confident as he was in the right place at the right time.


“When he won the race, I was ecstatic for the dog plus also for Ian and Carol (O’Neil – co-owners with Pete Ferguson). We have formed a great relationship with them, and we work in together – it was really great to share the win with them.


“We are also rapt for the dog – he has come of age and he has matured into the complete race dog. His next race will be at Manukau in their NZ Cup prelude race (October 20),” advised Ferguson who admitted it was a rather long trip home after making a pit stop at a mates place.


When asked about making the possible trip to Melbourne the dual code industry participant said, “At this stage, it’s more than likely we will go than not. In saying that the NZ Cup is Robson’s first priority, then if things fall into place, Melbourne is definitely an option. Robson has matured both physically and mentally and I’m not worried about the travelling as he showed me he was a phenomenal traveller when we went down to Addington for the Amazing Chase,” he added about the winner of ten of his 26 races to date. He has placed in another nine-race which sees his career earnings sitting at $68,686. It’s a figure that is likely to be quickly expanded on.


Ferguson has driven numerous Harness Group 1 race winners and he rates Robson’s Waterloo Cup win right up there with them. “It is extremely satisfying when you plan a campaign like this and it comes off. We’ve had a number of Group 1 greyhound finalists before, however, to finally train the winner of one is the ultimate.” 


As indicated above the Fergusons were also to the fore in other 527m races. Keysile was solid in the manner that she won the Sandown GRC Stakes, which was the main 527m support race. She came away during the run home to win her assignment in 30.75s.


The race presentation was made by Mick Floyd representing the Sandown GRC, who brought the TAB Melbourne Cup across the Tasman. “It was great to meet Mick and for us to also win the Sandown race was satisfying. We planned for Sakichi to try the Thursday/Sunday C2 bonus double and it was great for it to come off.


“To train three 527m winners on the same race card is a reward for those who work back at home. Wendy, Dillion (son), Danny (Laing) and Jamie (Pruden) all work in as a team – these wins are full credit to them. I also need to acknowledge Greg Hore. He set us on the training path and he has sourced us greyhounds from Australia, which he did with Robson when Greg arranged the sale with Gary Williams in Perth who sold him to us,” added Ferguson who on Monday morning went from being a Group 1 winning greyhound trainer to working out harness horses for the dual coded equine trainer Graeme Rogerson.   




Keysile is seen here after winning the Sandown GRC Stakes and pictured with Wendy & Pete Ferguson and Mick Floyd; kennel runner Sakichi after his Sunday C2 527m win.


 By Peter Fenemor.

Posted on 07 October 2019

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