The White Robe Lodge crew will be cheering on their home-bred horses in feature races on both sides of the Tasman on Saturday.
On the home front, the Wingatui stable of Brian Anderton (the White Robe Lodge founder and principal) and son Shane will be represented by Tommy Tucker and Gallant Boy in the Gr.3 Coca-Cola Canterbury Gold Cup (2000m) at Riccarton.
Then just under a couple of hours later, the Andertons’ attention will switch to Randwick where Gallant Boy’s year younger brother Patrick Erin (a former stablemate) and Yogi will clash in the Gr.1 A$2 million Sydney Cup (3200m), attempting to give White Robe Lodge back-to-back victories in the staying feature.
Twelve months ago there was much jubilation at White Robe Lodge when the Chris Waller-trained Who Shot Thebarman, bred by Brian Anderton and his wife, Lorraine, prevailed in the Sydney Cup, adding another milestone to the record of his deceased sire Yamanin Vital, who stood at the stud.
Now there is an opportunity in the Sydney Cup to boost the profiles of White Robe Lodge’s resident sires Gallant Guru (Patrick Erin) and Raise The Flag (Yogi).
Patrick Erin won 10 races from the Anderton stable before being transferred to Waller and from the champion trainer’s Sydney stable he won the Gr.1 Metropolitan (2400m) at Randwick last September.
He surprised everyone fresh-up when fourth in the Gr.2 Apollo Stakes (1400m) at Randwick behind stablemate and champion Winx and he goes into the Sydney Cup with a last-start ninth behind Avilius in the Gr.1 Tancred Stakes (2400m) at Rosehill.
“We know he’s up to it,’’ Brian Anderton said. “He’s been getting back and I’d just like to see him a bit closer in the running.’’
Yogi, a $1000 bargain buy at the 2014 South Island Sale, has won eight of his 31 starts and is already proven at the supreme staying test, having won the Listed Sandown Cup (3200m) last November.
He also won fresh-up this campaign over 1800m at Caulfield and did better than Patrick Erin last start in the Tancred Stakes (2400m) when fifth.
“He went a hell of a race in the Tancred, going way out to get the better going,’’ Anderton said.
Back on the local scene, Anderton isn’t prepared to split Tommy Tucker (whom he part-owns and co-bred) and Gallant Boy in the Canterbury Gold Cup.
“Authentic Paddy is a good pacemaker to have in the field and is a good horse. He’ll be hard to beat, but our two are both good shows,’’ he said.
Tommy Tucker, another of the Gallant Guru stock, won the same race two years ago and showed he was back on the right track when second to the ill-fated Boots ‘N’ All in the Hororata Gold Cup (1800m) at Riccarton last start.
“He’s got knocked around in a few of his starts this season and it was a top run last time,’’ Anderton said. “He took over on straightening and the winner got the last run at him. He’s done well since.’’
Gallant Boy won the Gr.3 White Robe Lodge Weight-For-Age (1600m) two starts ago, after being runner-up to Tommy Tucker in the same Wingatui feature the previous year, and he rounded off his build-up with a fifth in the Listed Easter Cup (1600m) at Riccarton last Saturday.
“He jumped out well last week, but ended up third-last and got held up a bit early in the straight,’’ Anderton said. ‘’The mile and a quarter (2000m) might suit him better.’’ – NZ Racing Desk