Riccarton trainer Lance Robinson can’t fault Air Max ahead of Saturday’s Listed ILT Ascot Park Hotel Southland Guineas (1600m) in Invercargill.
The southern feature race is the third and final leg of the Southland Guineas series, of which Air Max won the first two legs, the Listed Gore Guineas (1335m) and the Listed Dunedin Guineas (1500m).
“He’s come through in fantastic order and we’re really happy with him,” Robinson said.
“He’s drawn five, which is a good draw, he should be able to just lob along somewhere in behind them on the speed and we’ll work it out from there.”
Robinson’s only concern heading into Saturday is the amount of travel the son of Nadeem has completed in his six-race career.
“He’s done a lot of travelling, it’s his third trip down south,” he said.
“He’s only a three-year-old but he’s handling it really well, so there’s no reason why we shouldn’t go, but the travelling does concern me.”
Despite such concerns, Robinson hasn’t ruled out a northern start for Air Max this preparation.
“If he raced well on Saturday and he came through it in good order, there’d be a good chance that we would push on for the Wellington Guineas,” he said.
Air Max has been patiently handled by Robinson for a large syndicate of owners including his breeders Cheryl Wilson and Bruce Sheat.
“He showed us ability right from day one,” Robinson said. “We were very patient with him, we trialled him three times before he went to the races. We really looked after him and it’s paid off now.
“Cheryl and Bruce own him and they had Boots ‘N’ All in work at the time so they didn’t want to race him on their own so they offered us the lease on him and we got some people together and there’s about 35 people in him now. They’re all having a lot of fun together which is good for the game.
A former jockey, Robinson has 18 horses in work at Riccarton racecourse and he credits his staff for his recent success.
“They’re all really good people and the results are coming through them and a team effort, so I take my hat off to them. Without them we wouldn’t be going as well as what we’re going.
Robinson also reported that his stable star Boots ‘N’ All is on track for the Gr.1 Haunui Farm WFA Group One Classic (1600m) on Saturday week.
“He’s all good, he’s come through his run in the White Robe (Gr.3, 1600m) really well and we’re happy with him, so he’ll go to Otaki in terrific shape.” – NZ Racing Desk