Sydney jockey Peter Robl is giving up a likely full book of rides at Warwick Farm on Saturday to ride Gai’s Choice in the Listed $80,000 Travel Associates Classic Fillies And Mares Plate (1200m) at Eagle Farm.

Gai's Choice

Peter Robl will ride Gai's Choice at Eagle Farm. Photo by: Steve Hart

Trainer David Pfieffer is hoping a return to Queensland will be the catalyst Gai’s Choice needs to return to her best form after some mediocre performances during the Spring.

Gai’s Choice arrived in Brisbane during last year’s Winter Carnival with a bang and took her winning streak to three when she rattled home from back in the field to win the Listed $100,000 Sky Racing World Gai Waterhouse Classic (1350m) at Ipswich on June 16.

The General Nediym mare then produced the best result of her career when third to Pear Tart in the Group 1 $500,000 Sky Racing Tattersall’s Tiara (1400m) at Eagle Farm on June 23 but has failed to reproduce that form in four starts since returning south.

Pfieffer has freshened Gai’s Choice up after finishing seventh to Koonoomoo in the Group 3 $200,000 Herald Sun Stakes (1400m) at Flemington on Melbourne Cup day and is hoping a trip back to the Sunshine State will recapture her best form.

“Brisbane races are notorious for being fast-run races and Gai’s Choice is at her best when she can get back and run on,” Pfieffer said.

“Being a set-weights race over 1200 metres on a big track, it adds up to suiting her down to the ground.”

Robl is just behind the pacesetters in the Sydney jockey’s premiership on nineteen wins but is happy to partner Gai’s Choice at Eagle Farm after riding her in a Rosehill barrier trial last week.

“I trialled her last Tuesday and she gave me a really good feel,” Robl said.

“I think she’s back where she was and her record up there is pretty good.”

“She goes well for me. I won on her in 2010 and then again before she went up to Queensland.”

Robl has been back riding for a year after being disqualified for twelve months for betting offences but has worked hard and after riding forty-three Metropolitan winners last season, he is currently is equal third position just two and half wins behind leading rider Hugh Bowman.

Robl is no stranger to Gai’s Choice and has ridden the mare to two wins including her last win in Sydney last year before the five year old’s successful Brisbane campaign.

The Fillies and Mares Plate has attracted twelve entries including the John O’Shea trained Bound To Blush and Michael Lakey’s smart mare Risk Aversion who is resuming from a winter spell.

Bound To Blush is coming off a Rosehill win for fillies and mares on November 3 while Risk Aversion has trialled twice with Chris Munce for her return after finishing sixth in the Tattersall’s Tiara before a spell.

“In her first trial at Doomben they went a bit quick for her early but in the last 50 metres she really flattened out and pulled half a dozen lengths off the leaders without Chris doing anything on her,” Lakey said.

“They ran quick time when she trialled at Deagon and it’s really tightened up her condition.

“Chris gave her a glowing report when he jumped off her.”

In form trainer Desleigh Forster will saddle up Dream ‘N’ Ignite who is lining up for her fourth straight win since joining her Eagle Farm stable.

About The Author

Mark Mazzaglia

Mark is a passionate journalist with a life-time involvement in the racing industry. He spent many years as an analyst and form expert at the Courier Mail and also has hands-on experience working with some of Queensland’s top trainers.