It?s Robbo?s record ?
By GRAHAME TIMBRELL
ALLAN Robinson broke the national riding record at Grafton yesterday for the second time then reneged on a long-held wish to retire.
"I am 39 years old and have always said I would retire from riding when I turned 40," Robinson said.
"Until the start of this season I was going to do that.
"However, as the season progressed and I got closer to the record I decided to keep riding.
"I enjoy it too much."
Robinson landed the record when he won the Grafton Print Class One (1400m) on the Tim Martin-trained Princess Pedrille, then recognised the feat with a flourish of his whip as he went past the post.
The large Ramornie-day crowd stood and applauded Robinson as he returned to scale.
The win gave Robinson 216.5 winners, eclipsing the previous record of 216 which had been held by Greg Ryan.
In 1998/99 Robinson set a national record with 207.5 winners only see to Ryan break it the next season.
Robinson went into last Monday's Muswellbrook meeting needing two winners to break the record and with a near full book of rides.
Clarence River Jockey Club officials and committee members held their breath throughout the afternoon, hoping Robinson would not break the record to allow him to create history at Grafton.
Robinson booted home only one winner at Muswellbrook, giving the CRJC a huge marketing tool for yesterday.
Robinson made a slow start to the bid, finishing second last on the Martin trained Zouzou in the first race, but landed the record in the second.
Robinson paid tribute to Ron Perry, the father of leading Newcastle trainer Paul Perry, for inspiring him to break the record.
"At the start of the season Ron told me I should have a go at breaking the record," Robinson said.
"Ron was something of a mentor to me when I was apprenticed to Paul.
"He sort of took me under his wing and helped me a lot and we have remained very good friends.
"When Ron told me I should have a go at the record it gave me the incentive I needed.
"This was probably going to be the last opportunity I had so I told my wife Michelle and my children Maddi (9) and Jye (7) I would be away a lot this year.
"They are my life and it is very hard to get home late at night, even if I have ridden three or four winners, and find the children already in bed asleep."
Robinson thanked the CRJC for their support in helping get him to most Grafton meetings.
"If it was not for the CRJC I might only have ridden 200 winners," Robinson said.
Clarence River Jockey Club recognised Robinson's feat with a presentation by club chairman Bob Pavitt immediately after the race.