Start The Key For Stanley Road In Gold Cup

NOT many trainers go into big races hoping for a slow beginning but that’s what Mark Gatt is after with Stanley Road in Saturday's Group 3 Gold Cup.

Adam Dobbin

6 May 2021

NOT many trainers go into big races hoping for a slow beginning but that’s precisely what Mark Gatt is after with Stanley Road in Saturday night’s Group 3 Gold Cup Final (720m).

Australia’s premier stayer scraped into the $25,000-to-the-winner final with a fast finishing fourth in his heat behind Let’s See after finding all sorts of bother in transit as the $1.60 favourite.

“I was happy with the run after all the trouble he got into early,” Gatt said.

“It’s funny he finds that kind of bother in the smallest field he’s raced but you see it a lot.

“If you look at the run he only went 16.88 early and usually goes around 16.30. He’s still run 42.40 after losing half-a-second early so overall his run was good. His run home was as good as anything else.”

Stanley Road went into Saturday night’s imperious form for Gatt and owner Eddie Kingswell.

At his past seven starts the son of Allen Deed had won five and finished second on the other two occasions, the sequence of performances elevating him to Australia’s best stayer.

Included in that sensational run was Group 1 wins in the Association Cup and Fanta Bale Super Stayers and a Group 2 success in the Summer Plate.

He also finished a narrow second to Houdini Boy in the Group 1 Zoom Top.

Following this Saturday night’s Gold Cup assignment, Stanley Road will return to Victoria to begin his preparations for the Group 1 Sandown Cup (715m) for which he is a solid $3.50 pre-post favourite for.

“After Saturday night he’ll go back down to Paul Bartolo and have a trial at Sandown before the (Sandown Cup) heats,” Gatt said.

“I’ve been keeping the work right up to him and am really happy with where he is at.

“But box four on Saturday night is tricky. The red Prim And Proper should lead but the two (In Your Time) and three (Hundred Degrees) are both wide runners.

“I’d just rather him be in reverse early and get through that first corner out of trouble. I’m not sure what it is with that first corner from the 700; there just seems to be plenty of interference.”

Heats of the Sandown Cup are slated for May 20 with the $175,000-to-the-winner finale a week later on May 27.

A third Group 1 victory would undoubtedly have the star stayer in discussions for Australian Greyhound of The Year honours let alone his home state title.

Group 3 Gold Cup (720m): 1 Prim And Proper 2 In Your Time 3 Hundred Degrees 4 Stanley Road 5 Sandy Grant 6 Let’s See 7 Aston Ulysses 8 Zipping Niseko with reserves My Margarita and Candy Carrera.