Stanley's NZ Cup plans
COMEBACK star Soho Tribeca will chase the NZ Cup, but not the Auckland Inter Dominion.
The gifted pacer returns from almost a year out when he tackles next Saturday night’s Italian Cup at Melton.
Trainer-driver Mick Stanley will then keep him based in Victoria, bypassing features in NSW and Queensland, to focus on an NZ Cup raid.
“Obviously everything depends on how well he comes back, but you have to plan ahead and Rob (Watson, owner) I have talked through it all,” Stanley said.
“The Inter Dominion, with the four runs in two weeks, just isn’t the right way to go with him after the injury he’s had.
“But Rob is super, super keen on the NZ Cup and so am I.
“We’re building everything around the NZ Cup at his main target this year.”
But shaping plans for Soho Tribeca is just part of the exciting but challenging equation for Stanley, who boasts by his strongest stable ever.
Two of his stars, Rackemup Tigerpie and Soho Burning Love, won feature races at Melton last night (Saturday).
Rackemup Tigerpie’s sparkling first-up win in the free-for-all was both exciting for him and a great guide for Soho Tribeca’s progress.
“They work together at home and trialled together last week where Soho Tribeca did a bit more work and Rackemup Tigerpie just edged him out,” Stanley said.
“The way Rackemup won last night really gave us confidence Tribeca was right on target for next week.”
Rackemup Tigerpie was first-up since finishing down the track in the Chariots of Fire at Menangle on February 16.
It was the end of a campaign where he raced through the grades with 11 wins, but the best run was a mighty second to Thefixer in the Ballarat Cup.
Stanley drove him with confidence despite being first-up and made an early move around the field from a back row draw to sit parked for the second half of the short 1720m race.
Despite doing all the work, Rackemup Tigerpie powered to the front and top of the straight and held-on well to win by 1.7m in a 1min54.7sec mile rate, including a 55.7sec last half.
“The Vicbred 4YO series is next for him in a couple of weeks. Poster Boy will be a good measuring stick in that, but I’m sure this horse has comeback better than last campaign,” Stanley said.
“The best part of last night’s win for me was how quickly he dropped them when I said go at the top of the straight. He couldn’t do that last time in work and it’s a great asset to have.”
Rackemup Tigerpie has the Vicbred, Breeders Crown 4YO and a dip at the Victoria Cup in October to prove to Stanley he should chase the biggest open-class features next season.
Just 30 minutes after Rackemup Tigerpie’s winning return, Soho Burning Love had an easier job finding the lead after the start and cruising to a dominant 5.5m win over last-start Group 1 winner and favourite Pistol Abbey in a 1min56.3sec mile rate for the 2240m.
“She’s off the Vicbred 4YO mares’ series next and she’s got the Breeders Crown 4YO as well. I’d say she’d head across to Perth for their Group 1 mares’ race later in the year as well,” Stanley said.