Winsloe eyeing White Robe with Humbucker

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Ellis Winsloe’s immediate focus has switched to a prestige event closer to home after a Group One northern target has been ruled out for his talented performer Humbucker.

The Southland trainer celebrated a first success in his local Gore Cup (2000m) on Saturday with the son of Iffraaj, who will make his next appearance in the Group 3 White Robe Lodge (1600m) at Wingatui on February 4.

Winsloe had originally planned a crack at this Saturday’s Group 1 Thorndon Mile (1600m) at Trentham, but the logistics of a trip away proved unworkable.

“The main aim is now the White Robe and going back to the mile because Dunedin is different again and a bigger track,” he said.

“I would have loved to take him to the Thorndon, but I haven’t got the staff and he’s not the easiest horse and we’d have to find somebody to work him.”

Winsloe had been hoping to emulate a past Group One triumph at Trentham where his former New Zealand Filly of the Year Tartan Tights claimed the 1995 New Zealand Oaks (2400m).

“I’ve been to Wellington in the past and won the Oaks and would go the week before and had planned to do that with Humbucker, but I haven’t got the staff to go there and look after things at home,” he said.

Humbucker has now won two of his last three starts and following his Listed Timaru Cup (1600m) triumph he finished fourth in an open 1400m contest at Wingatui before successfully jumping to a middle distance on Saturday for regular rider Kylie Williams.

“It was a very good effort and Kylie and I had discussed getting him up over ground after he won the Timaru Cup (Listed, 1600m),” Winsloe said.

“Ever since I’ve had him, he has always given me the impression that he just wasn’t a sprinter.”

Humbucker took up a midfield spot before improving to sit in second before the turn and fought gallantly in the straight to hold a slender margin at the post.

“The biggest problem was whether we could get him to settle and we decided Gore was the place to do it,” Winsloe said.

“He did settle beautifully with Wannabe ‘N’ Paris going off in front and that was a bonus.

“The only thing I worried about before the race was if he pulled and wanted to go with them, but he didn’t and did everything spot on.”

Humbucker has now won five races and his latest success completed a clean sweep of local Cups for Winsloe.

“My father (Ted) won it, but it was one that had eluded me. I’ve won the Dunedin Gold Cup (Listed, 2400m), the Invercargill Cup (2600m) and the Riverton Cup (Listed, 2147m) and other ones,” he said.

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