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Winners continue to flow for Dennis

3 minute read

Robert Dennis’ results since returning to Southland continue to far exceed his expectations.

LOFTYS GIFT (outside) winning the WASH RITE & HYDE LANDSCAPING WAIRIO CUP Picture: Race Images Photo

The Ascot Park trainer celebrated his 12th winner this season when Loftys Gift  continued her purple patch of form with victory in Sunday's Wairio Cup (2200m).

Dennis originally began training out of Woodlands and subsequently had a spell with Andrew Forsman's Cambridge stable before returning with his family to Southland toward the end of last year.

"We had our first runner in January and initially I thought if we could get five wins then I would be happy," he said.

"We haven't gone to many meetings of late without coming home with a winner so long may that last.

"Everyone knows you need good horses and good staff to do well and at the moment we've got the recipe right, so things are going very well.

"To be in this position is really good and it's great to turn them around and get results with tried horses for connections."

Dennis has also worked hard to complement the older members of the stable with a base for ongoing success.

"We've got a lot of young horses coming through as well, there's about 10 yearlings and 10-odd two-year-olds on the books," he said.

His latest success story Loftys Gift finished fourth in her southern debut before reeling off a hat-trick of victories.

"She is just full of confidence at the moment and we were really happy with her going into the race," he said.

"She had improved off her previous run and the only concern was the very heavy track. I know she had won on a Heavy 10 before, but it was really testing and she got through it well enough.

"She won on a Good 4 at Wingatui quite impressively and showed a good turn of foot to do so, she's very versatile and very tough and that opens up a few options going forward.

"At the moment, the next race we're looking at is an open 2200m at Wingatui on June 2 and we'll see how she goes there before deciding what we do after that."

Loftys Gift is raced by the Matijasevich family under their Markwood Lodge banner with the Knot Enough Syndicate.

Bred by the Anderton family, the Ghibellines mare won twice for Cambridge duo Shaune Ritchie and Colm Murray before relocating south.

"Jack Stewart at White Robe Lodge has a connection with Matijasevichs, and he suggested to them that Lofty would suit my stable," Dennis said.

"Jack has been a big help sourcing horses for the stable and I guess other owners up north have seen us produce results with tried horses, it generates a bit more interest.

"We had an owners' day at the races on Sunday and probably had about 50-odd people through the room and about 300 owners altogether across all the horses, so it was really good.

"It's snowballing through a combination of results with good horses, good owners and good staff." 

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