Dual Group 1 Winner Set For South Coast Return

DUAL Group 1 winner Stanley Road will face a baptism of fire when he makes his eagerly awaited return from injury at Bulli on Saturday night.

Adam Dobbin

27 August 2021

DUAL Group 1 winner Stanley Road will face a baptism of fire when he makes his eagerly awaited return from injury at Bulli on Saturday night.

The highly acclaimed son of Allen Deed has drawn box one for an assignment over the 590 metres where he runs into a red hot line-up of middle distance chasers for his return.

It was back in May that racing fans last got a glimpse of Stanley Road at the races when finishing a courageous second to Zipping Rambo in the Group 1 Sandown Cup (715m).

Before that the star stayer had enjoyed a sensational first half to 2021 which included pulsating last stride wins in the Group 1 Fanta Bale Super Stayers (725m) at The Meadows and Group 1 Association Cup (720m) at Wentworth Park.

FIELDS AND FORM BULLI SATURDAY NIGHT

Trainer Mark Gatt had hoped to ease Stanley Road back into racing with a low key middle distance event but with the opposition that waits on Saturday it has proven anything but.

“I had a feeling it was going to be a hot race and that’s how it’s panned out,” Gatt said.


“But I had to start him off somewhere so I can start building him up towards 700 metres again. The main thing on Saturday is that I see him getting to the line hard.

“If he wins that’d just be a bonus. It won’t be easy.”

 

Included in the star-studded six dog field is the David Smith-trained Super Estrella which has been airborne in recent weeks, topped by victory in the NSW National Distance Championship (729m) at Dapto.

Four starts back the daughter of Fernando Bale scored at Bulli over the 590 metres in a sizzling 33.00 seconds, the time just .01 of a second outside Segovia’s 2016 track record.

Also in the field is the Daniel Flanagan-trained Explosive Venom which goes into the race off four powerhouse victories at Maitland and The Gardens, while in form duo Sound Of Silence and Chrissie Banner are in contention also.

“It’s going to take a better than 33.20 run to win the race without a doubt,” Gatt said.

“I’d say my bloke will settle back even though he is really fresh – that’s just his racing pattern. He’s had two solid 500 metre hit-outs going into the race which I’ve been happy with.

“He’s come back as good as he was before and the ligament in the hock he injured is showing no signs of pain. It can be a tricky injury so we’ve had to take our time and manage it. So far so good.” 

Gatt is also represented in Saturday night’s Bulli card by grand campaigner Shanjo Prince.

The 15-time winner has drawn box five in race eight against a field which includes 2019 Million Dollar Chase hero Good Odds Harada, the son of Collision returning to the races for the first time since April.