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Image: Steve Hart
Art Cadeau is ready to tackle stronger company for South Coast trainer Terry Robinson

It’s a testament to the prize money levels on offer for country-based New South Wales gallopers that the Terry Robinson-trained Art Cadeau has already earned over $1.3 million for his connections, but has yet to compete at Group or Listed level.

Winning a Kosciuszko and a Country Championships final goes a long way towards that, and the Shoalhaven Heads-based trainer has no other option than to step his Artie Schiller gelding up to Group 3 company when he tackles the $160,000 Festival Stakes at Rosehill Gardens this Saturday.

“He was racing in country races and he virtually has to go straight to Open or Group company now because that’s all he is eligible for with his benchmark rating,” Robinson said.

“It’s a big jump in class but hopefully he’s up to it.”

Prior to a last-start failure in the Goulburn Cup, the five-year-old had built up a formidable record never missing the top two in his first 12 career outings, and Robinson believes there were a few excuses as to why he could only finish ninth last time out.

“There were a few circumstances I suppose,” Robinson said.

“It was the first time he had drawn really wide and he had a big weight. Things just didn’t work out.

“All things have to come to an end at some stage, but I’m still really happy with him. He seems to have pulled up well.”

Art Cadeau will be partnered by regular hoop Tommy Berry, who has an impeccable record on board with five wins and two seconds from just seven steers. Robinson is more than happy to have the champion jockey back in the saddle.

“Tommy is keen to ride the horse which is great, it’s a big positive,” Robinson said.

“He really just needs a soft draw and hopefully he’ll bounce back and show his true form.”

Robinson also has Hinchinbrook gelding King’s Trust nominated for the Highway Handicap, a race that Art Cadeau won the maximum of two occasions. Third-up from the spell, the six-year-old gelding will be looking to rebound off a couple of ordinary efforts this time in.

“He’s had a couple of little setbacks, but he seems to be back on track now,” Robinson said.

“It looks a strong Class 2 on paper but I think he’ll run a very good race.”

As of Monday afternoon, Art Cadeau is currently a $6 second-favourite for the Festival Stakes in the All-In betting market with the TAB.

 
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