Centre Pivot is not expected to take centre stage in the Listed June Stakes at Randwick on Saturday as Peter Robl again sets a tough initiation for the gelding after a break.
The six-year-old resumes after a 19-week spell with Randwick-based trainer Robl conceding Centre Pivot will use the unfavourable 1100m trip to prime himself for the Listed Civic Stakes at Rosehill on July 1.
“We’ve found a hard race first-up, the 1100 is going to be far short of his best. This is just to give him a tune-up for the 1350 at Rosehill.”
Centre Pivot opened his previous preparation over 1100m in the Listed Lightning Stakes at Randwick last October, beating just two horses home, before the campaign peaked with a fourth in the Magic Millions Trophy (2200m).
Robl, who took over training Centre Pivot from John Sargent in late 2015, said forecast rain would also be detrimental to his chances with seven of his eight victories recorded on good tracks.
“If we get a bit of rain and it’s slow we’ll run, if it’s any worse than that he won’t,” Robl said.
Although the trip and track look certain to count against Centre Pivot, Robl said two trials did augur well for the future.
“He’s come back really well this time in. I thought he showed a nice turn of foot in his trial (at Randwick on June 2) albeit off a slow tempo.
“He’s done really well. He’s very sound at the moment. I certainly can’t fault him going into Saturday.”
Robl said the barrier draw was not likely to be an issue though he would prefer Centre Pivot and Jay Ford to launch from a middling to outside gate and then find a position about four of fives horses off the lead.