Peter Robl admits he was lucky to walk out of John Hunter Hospital after a race fall at Scone in 2014, but since then something has been missing in his life.
Now a trainer, Robl had been told never to get on a horse again but last year he got the news that allowed him the pleasure of spinning around the track on a thoroughbred again after four years.
Back in the saddle: Peter Robl believes riding again gives him an edge as a trainer.Credit:Photo: Jenny Evans
“I had been seeing my doctor every six months since the fall and things had been good,” Robl said. “I’m always going to have a spinal cord injury but he said I could ride a motorbike if I wanted.
“I asked if I can do that why can’t I ride [a horse] again.
“I missed [riding] and didn’t realise how much until I got a clearance.
“It’s only trackwork and I have been doing it for about six months. I didn’t want to make a big deal about it but it has certainly helped me as a trainer.”
Robl has about 14 in his Randwick stable, and this year from eight starters he has had four winners, including All Cylinders, which lines up in the Pierro Plate at Randwick on Saturday.
He is also helping out Peter Snowden riding a couple for him of a morning and enjoying being back in the saddle.
“I keep telling him I’m the best trackwork rider he will ever get, with all my experience,” Robl said jokingly. “I ride about half dozen a morning, which keeps me busy.
“Being a trainer it is a big advantage to ride my own because you can work out how quickly they recover when you are coming back and get a good guide on them.
“If one of my riders think there is a problem I can get on the next day and spin around and see if I can work it out, it has certainly helped my training.”
While he doesn’t ride all of All Cylinders’ work, he had done enough on him to be confident going into his first start, which he won at Gosford.
Robl knows with two-year-olds at this time of year you need to find out where they stand and that's what he will do with All Cylinders on Saturday.
“I think he is a very nice horse and will run a big race, even though he is a big price,” Robl said. “We are aiming him at the Black Opal this preparation and if he is going to show up there, he needs to be in the finish on Saturday.
"If he was to win, well, you start considering other races as well. He keeps improving, so the [Golden] Slipper is there for him if he gets it right."
Glyn Schofield, who rode All Cylinders in his two barrier trial and Gosford win, has decided to stick with favourite Rotator, which was the Widden Stakes runner-up, so Sam Clipperton takes the ride.
"Sam came and had a feel of him the other morning and left impressed," Robl said. "I would have rather drawn barrier three than nine with him, but he has natural speed, which will overcome the draw.
"He was a dumb dumb to start with but always had speed and he keeps getting better.
"I think he can be somewhere near the front and they will have to beat him."
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