GROUP 1-winning jockey Peter Robl will be a guest of the Albury Racing Club on Friday, March 14, to launch the Albury Gold Cup carnival.
Robl will speak at the club’s business and barrels luncheon at the Commercial Club.
The Sydney-based hoop is a previous winner of the Riverina’s richest race — aboard the Graeme Rogerson-trained Luvuleo in 2008.
Unfortunately, Robl won’t be able to ride over the carnival as he recovers from a spinal injury suffered in a race fall last month.
“Obviously, Peter has got a bit of spare time on his hands at the moment after his recent fall,” club chief John Miller said yesterday.
“Before his move to Sydney, he used to ride a lot around the area, being based at Benalla, and he is a former Albury Gold Cup winner.
“He has been through a fair bit during his career and will no doubt have some interesting stories to tell.”
The confirmed attendance of Robl continues the club’s recent trend of securing high-profile racing identities for the launch of the carnival.
Michael Rodd, Damian Oliver, Dan Nikolic, Hugh Bowman, Peter Moody, Nash Rawiller and John Messara have all been guests in recent years.
Robl is sidelined until at least July when he will have tests to determine whether he returns to race riding.
“Depending on how my spine has healed — that will be a yea or nay as to whether I can ride again,” Robl said.
“I’ve only got 60 per cent strength in my legs and arms. The spine will take six months to heal.
“The question is whether I get my strength back.”
Robl is keeping busy by helping trainer Anthony Cummings — one of his biggest supporters — to clock horses at trackwork a few mornings a week.
The two-day carnival starts on March 27 with the $170,000 Listed Albury Gold Cup (2000m) the next day.
The carnival will offer a combined $725,800 in prizemoney, trophies and bonuses over its two days.