Kiwi stayer Megablast remains at the top of the...
Maintaining to finish a credible fourth amongst classy competition in the Group 2 Moonee Valley Vase (2040m) last weekend, trainer Brent Stanley is confident his first ever Victoria Derby runner, Royal Standing, will lay a great account for himself in Saturday’s Flemington feature.
Claiming one win and two minor places from his nine competitive starts so far, Royal Standing jumped from the gates well in the Moonee Valley Vase, taking up a position on pace and producing a strong-enough sprint to finish just two lengths off the pace of winner and fellow Victoria Derby acceptor Moonovermanhattan.
Charged with overcoming the reasonably wide and awkward barrier 15, Stanley said he has been pleased with the continually building form and class of the Stratum colt since first debuting at the race in November last year, and is expecting a polished performance in the 2014 Victoria Derby.
“He’s just got natural ability, he’s done a great job, he’s actually a half-brother to one of Mark’s (Kavanagh) horses Super Cool so he’s just by Stratum but he’s just a dour stayer and the further the better for him,” Stanley said.
“He’s done a good job as a two-year-old, a Stakes place a couple of times, he’s run really good leading into this race and we’ve tried to aim him for the one race.
“He’s made a decision up where he’ll go race day, he’ll definitely go forward – he’s a free-rolling horse.
“The only question I don’t have to worry about is the 2500; I have no doubt he’ll run that out and solid.”
Running forth in the Group 3 Maribyrnong Plate (1000m) on debut on November 9th, Royal Standing steadily built to the task over three Autumn Carnival starts; finishing a credible fifth in each of the Group 3 Breeders’ Stakes (1200m) and Listed Anzac Day Stakes (1410m) before placing second to Cailin Miss in the Listed Oaklands Plate (1600m) on May 3rd.
Running fourth in a minor over 1170m first-up this time on September 7th, the colt out of Queen Mother broke through for a maiden race win when leading from start to finish in the Goulburn Murray C.U. Plate (1309m), but appeared outclassed when beating just one runner home in the Listed Yellowglen Vintage Stakes (1400m) on October 4th.
Having finished a close second to Bondeiger in a minor over 1600m in what was his only other start prior to the Moonee Valley Cup, Royal Standing is currently given little hope of success in Victoria Derby betting markets at current $61 odds for success or $13.50 to finish in the places at Ladbrokes.com.au.
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