Robe Fights Back for Seidl

Jan 03, 2019

It was a day of firsts at Sandown on Wednesday - apprentice Nathan Punch's first metropolitan winner for the stable and then visiting jockey Martin Seidl's first local city winner; Robe de Fete doing the job in gutsy style in the Araza Handicap.

Stepping up to 1300m off a game and close up sixth down the Flemington straight at his previous outing, the dashing chestnut made good use of his inside draw and looked very happy up in the lead.

But half way down the straight, strongly challenged by the odds-on favourite Hawkshot, Robe de Fete looked beaten - passed by a good long neck. But Seidl was patient and testament to his skills and the horse's courage there was a fight back!

Really digging deep at the 100m, Robe de Fete got back into the lead, then having the cheek to get clear over the final stages - in doing so recording the third success of his nine start career.

"The race was perfect for him," Seidl said, noting that the three-year-old had got a little lost down the straight at his previous start at Flemington.

"He was very relaxed and galloped nicely in front and in the middle of the straight I gave him the chance to change his legs and when he did that he came back."

"Robbie was spot on the money," said delighted part owner Darren Dance of Australian Thoroughbred Bloodstock - "he has always said he'd be better over 1300m and he might even get a mile later on.

"Martin rode him perfectly," he continued. "I thought the horse was gone but gee he was tough!"

Purchased at the 2017 Inglis Easter Yearling Sale, Robe de Fete is a good-looking son of Choisir and he is the first foal for the dual city winning Mossman mare Party Dress (Robe de Fete in French) who was served last spring by Headwater.