Trainer Peter Robl is confident that Centre Pivot is in the right form to lay a good account for himself when he lines up for the Group 2 Villiers Stakes (1600m) at Royal Randwick on Saturday.
Centre Pivot has posted a number of strong results through his twenty-four career starts since debuting for John O’Shea in 2013, but was unable to make much of an impact through two spring starts this year; returning for a freshen-up after placing ninth in the Listed Ladies Day Cup (1400m) at Hawkesbury on November 3rd.
Robl has underlined the Magic Millions Trophy (1800m) at the Gold Coast on January 14th as the hopeful target for Centre Pivot this time, but believes that the horse is ready to perform well in the Villiers Stakes on Saturday.
“He’s shaping up very well, he’s had a bit of time between runs and had a nice trial at Warwick Farm a couple of weeks ago,” Robl told The Daily Telegraph.
“We are going to the same race as last year, so we tried to keep a similar with him, though he will run in the Summer Cup in a couple of weeks.
“As long as he runs a pleasing race and shows us he’s getting back to what his old form suggests he can do, we’d be happy with him.”
Centre Pivot has passed through the care of both Sam Kavanagh and John Sargent following John O’Shea defection to Godolphin, before arriving at Robl’s Randwick base at the conclusion of the 2015 calendar.
Running a pleasing third behind Tinto and Feltre in the Magic Millions Trophy on January 9th, Centre Pivot placed eighth in the Group 2 Apollo Stakes (1400m) before running on for a credible sixth in the Group 1 Chipping Norton Stakes (1600m) on February 27th.
Returning to the paddock after placing third in the Listed Canberra Cup (2000m) a fortnight later, the More Than Ready gelding beat only two runners home in the Listed Lightning (1100m) on October 15th, in what was his only other start prior to the Ladies Day Cup.
The Villiers Stakes field and barrier draw is due to be completed and released by midday, today (Wednesday December 14th).