The airborne Kelly Schweida-trained...
Sometimes favourites are made to be beaten, especially when Michael Walker is on board.
Brent Stanley trained Red Alto won the 2018 Bendigo Cup (2400m) in boilover fashion with Walker on board on Wednesday, stunning the Bendigo crowd to capture the $350,000 Group 3 feature.
Underestimated at long 70-1 odds, the six-year old gelding by High Chapparal was completely overlooked in the lead up to the race, showing tremendous turn of foot to beat home Dal Harraild and Sir Charles Road to win by a half neck and a long head.
Having steered Mighty Boss to a win in the Caulfield Guineas last year, Walker is used to riding roughies, admitting everything fell perfectly into place on Wednesday.
“Just had to be mindful, Brent (Stanley) sort of had me one-two but I said to him beforehand ‘I’m going to have to use him to get there, and then I’ll ease up and let him go” Walker said after the win.
“Everything worked out according to plan and it was a beautiful run, waiting for the split, got it, and it was a tough win, on the corner I thought I was going to win.”
Likewise, Walker is also used to riding Bendigo Cup winners, having ridden The Offer to victory for Gai Waterhouse back in 2015.
As for Red Alto, trainer Brent Stanley feels the win was a great way to cap off what was otherwise a disappointing prep.
“At the end of a long preparation he gave us a big thrill win in that race at Randwick against all the Waller’s, and you know, he’s done a good job and things have gone right,” Stanley said.
“He’s at the end of the preparation today and the owners were a bit concerned about his last start but he got his tongue over the bit, so tongue tie today, it’s like everything, he could breathe today so he got over the line.”
Winning the race at $71 odds is one thing, but beating home the Darren Weir favourite Furrion is another. The British import was the $2.90 favourite with Ladbrokes entering the race, but after trying to get behind the speed following the jumpout, the six-year old found himself fourth from the back with plenty of work to do at the 1000m mark.
Of course, as far as Walker is concerned, there’s only one thing on his mind – celebration.
“Look out Bendigo tonight” Walker joked.
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