Boom Boom Basil has had his problems and can take a lot of work to get right for races, but Dubbo trainer Brett Robb knows it’s worth the effort with the horse heading towards the $150,000 Newhaven Park WRA Country Championships Qualifier at Coonamble on Sunday.
“He’s our top seed for the race,” Robb said. “There are plenty of good pointers with him.
“He’s won a TAB Highway in town and he’s finished second in a Highway.
“This will be his first try over 1400 metres, but the way he finished off at his last start (over 1312m) I think he’ll definitely get the distance. He’s a good, tough horse.”
That most recent run – at Dubbo on February 15 – was in a Country Championships Preview Class 4 Handicap and Boom Boom Basil battled out the finish with the Clint Lundholm-trained pair Listen To The Band (first) and Amulet Street (third).
Listen To The Band and Amulet Street will also be among the leading contenders at Coonamble, so the form was strong.
“Boom Boom Basil is a hard horse to keep sound,” Robb said. “I race him and bring him home and patch him up and give him a good space between runs and he’s the type of horse that races better that way.
“We’ve taken it real slow with him this time in, with the Country Championships in mind. He’s had just the two runs ahead of the qualifier.”
Robb is also aiming Sizzle Minizzle and Billiethefillie at the qualifier. The trainer won last year’s WRA qualifier with Great Buy, which went on to finish 11th in the Final at Randwick.
“When we won with Great Buy I didn’t know how to take it at first,” he said.
“We hadn’t been down at Dubbo all that long after moving from Nyngan and when we won the Picnic Championship a few months earlier that was a big enough thrill for me.
“But winning the qualifier was a different ball-game. Definitely a big thrill – they’re hard races to win.”
Robb said the move from further out west at Nyngan to Dubbo had proved great for his career.
“I made the move to Dubbo for more opportunities,” he said. “Covid stopped all the picnics and non-TAB meetings, which we used to follow around a lot when we were at Nyngan.
“I’d been thinking about giving it away actually. It was getting a little bit hard and I was doing too many miles and if I wasn’t going to Dubbo every weekend or during the week I was going through it.
“David Ringland is a very successful businessman and since I’ve started training he’s always had one or two horses with me and he’s helped me out a lot in Dubbo. He owns the house and stable complex that I train out of.
“We’ve got 25 boxes here at the stables and 14 boxes out at the farm and they’re all full, so if we got offered a horse at the moment I’d nearly have to tie him up to a tree.
“I think back now to when I was going to throw the towel in, when I was still out at Nyngan, and I’m really glad I didn’t.
“We’ve had a lot of fun and a lot of success, with hopefully plenty more to come, so I’m glad we kept going.
“I’ve been around racehorses all my life. I think when you get the racing bug you can’t get rid of it.”
– Racing NSW