Red alert: Stanley not afraid of Waller’s army
SUTTON Grange horseman Brent Stanley is the lone opponent to the might of premier trainer Chris Waller in Saturday's Cindy Sullivan Memorial (2400m) at Royal Randwick, but is confident his charge Red Alto can win.
While Waller had 11 of 12 acceptors (although two are already early scratchings), Stanley was succinct in his appraisal of Red Alto's chances.
"If Red Alto turns up and gets the right run, he'll win the race," the trainer said.
Stanley believes the Benchmark 88 is an ideal race for the gelding, who has been contesting stronger races in recent times.
"He's got more ability than an 82 rating so I'd like him to show that (on Saturday), hopefully," Stanley said.
"It's a suitable race for him. He's gets a bit of weight relief off the 60kg he was handicapped with in Adelaide and we were having to claim.
"He's been rated higher than an 82. It's just dropped down because he's taken so long to come up. He probably should be in the mid to late 90s on ability."
With placings at three of his past four starts, the gelding is starting to hit his straps, according to his trainer.
"He has taken forever to come up this preparation," Stanley said.
"His form's good reading two,two, three, four at his last four starts. I'm more than happy with him. He's just been getting into sticky situations.
"He's had a couple of kids on him in recent times in Adelaide and he's taken advantage of them a little bit. He's just not a kids' horse.
"Last start he was right back on the inside and when they quickened up coming to the turn, the horse in front of him didn't go any quicker so he got held up for a bit and wasn't able pick up and sprint.
"When the right opportunity presents itself, he can sprint when he's let go.
"He had his first start at Moonee Valley in a 1000m on a heavy track and ran second coming from last. He's also won a 1200m up the straight (at Flemington) first-up."
In fact, Red Alto's five career wins have come from 1100m to 1600m.
While he hasn't won over 2400m yet, he has placed at two of his three goes over the distance.
"He run fourth in a Victoria Derby and sixth in the Queensland Derby," Stanley said.
"He's been to Randwick before and had a couple of runs in Queensland so I have no concerns about him racing right handed.
"Tye Angland's in form and a good strong rider to suit this horse.
"I'm not sure if I will get there this weekend as I have a runner at Moonee Valley and three at Wangaratta. If I don't go, my cousin Joe Cleary will saddle him up.
"He's got the favourite in the Highway and I told him if I can't make to Randwick he needs to stick around and saddle-up Red Alto for me.
"Hopefully the cousins can get a race-to-race double."