If any runner has the luck of the Irish on their side this St Patrick’s Day weekend, it is bound to be the Rob Kingston trained Miss Danni who lines up in the 1Print Handicap on Friday night at The Valley.
Born and bred in the Boyne Valley in Ireland, Kingston was immersed in racing from a young age and grew up on the racecourses from the Curragh to Leopardstown, Tipperary and everywhere in between. A far cry from the Balnarring picnic races, where the stable saddled up a double last Saturday.
While it’s not known if Kingston has stumbled across any four-leaf clovers of late, his Mornington stable results certainly speak for themselves, with 15 wins at a strike rate of 24% for the season.
It’s any wonder when your CV boasts working at some of Europe’s leading stud farms including global giant Coolmore Stud and the home of the champion Frankel, Juddmonte Farms. Kingston’s parents grew up as punters and owning the odd racehorse and Kingston was soon hooked, his brother first turning his hand to amateur riding and training.
The land down under first called in 1999 when Kingston travelled with shuttle stallion Bahamian Bounty, a trip that eventuated in meeting his now wife Simone and returning in 2008 to take up full time residence in Australia.
“I’d say Irish racing is very strong with Aidan and now Joseph O’Brien, as well as Dermot Weld, training a lot of winners.
“A typical Irish horse is fairly lean and mean and often responds best to lots of slow building work,” Kingston said of racing in Ireland.
Kingston himself foaled down the super star stallion Giants Causeway, a winner of $3 million himself and the sire of 31 individual Group 1 winners around the globe. And while Miss Dani might fall short of reaching those heights, the stable is confident of a forward showing on Friday night.
“Her Sandown win three starts ago was very good and I backed her up on a day the rail was out and Caulfield played against her, but she was good two weeks ago at The Valley.
“She’s been working at the beach and I couldn’t be happier – she’s very adaptable which will make Dwayne’s (Dunn) job that bit easier,” explained Kingston.
The Mornington horseman has three wins to his name at The Valley and St Paddy’s Eve Night would be the perfect stage to extend that tally.
“It is my favourite track and it’s great fun for the owners who love coming… you just can’t beat it under lights”
“I’ve been to a lot of racetracks around Europe but I can safely say the night Black Caviar won the William Reid Stakes was the biggest buzz you could feel at a racecourse,” enthused Kingston.