Emerging NSW stayer Stanley Road didn’t win but he produced one of the standout performances on the opening night of the ‘Australian Cup Carnival’ when pushing local star Houdini Boy to the limit in the Group 1 Zoom Top (725m) last Saturday.
After landing the Group 2 Summer Distance Plate (720m) in Sydney at his previous start, Mark Gatt’s new kid on the staying block charged home in the Zoom Top, with the camera required to separate him and hot favourite Houdini Boy – the margin was only a half-head.
“I was rapt with his run. He went enormous,” Gatt said.
“He stood up against the best dogs interstate. He went good in Sydney and then going down to Melbourne he took the next step.
“Stayers can be a bit funny so I just want to see him back that up this Saturday and hopefully the week after. I expect him to go on with it; I just want to see it.”
Stanley Road, a son of The Meadows 525m record holder Allen Deed, went around at $14 in the Zoom Top, but after his eye-catching Victorian debut he dominates TAB’s market on heat two of the Group 1 Fanta Bale Super Stayers (725m) this Saturday.
WATCH: NSW star STANLEY ROAD (6) made a statement when running 2nd to HOUDINI BOY (3) in the G1 Zoom Top (725m) last Saturday.
Despite drawing box six for the second week running, he’s $2 favourite.
“It’s not a good box but I think it could work out okay,” Gatt said.
“Run Like Jess (box 8) and Sir Truculent (box 2) should be the leaders and if I can slot into third that would be beautiful.
“He’s what I call a good chaser for a stayer.
“He’s been really consistent. He went no good at his first three starts early last year but he had a few problems so I gave him a break and since then he’s had 21 starts and only missed a place three times.”
“I put him in against the good stayers straight away in the Newcastle Cup, against Here’s Tears, so he didn’t have any steady fifth grades to start him off, and he’s kept getting better. It was the same when I put him over 600m. He got better after about three runs.
“He’s got one fault. Early on he wouldn’t go around dogs – he loves the fence. He’s better now but when he goes around another dog he cuts them off too soon.
“In the Zoom Top he tried to cut down when he was only about half a length in front of Run Like Jess. He nearly dragged himself down and I reckon he cost himself the race.”
Gatt has left Stanley Road in Victoria, with Melbourne Cup-winning trainer Paul Bartolo,
for his Super Stayers assault, following the winning formula he used when Ritza Hattie claimed the Group 2 Laurels (515m) at Sandown in 2013.
“I just want to see him back that up this Saturday and hopefully the week after. I expect him to go on with it; I just want to see it.”
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