Stanley thinks long term
By Adam Hamilton
PROMINENT Victorian trainer Mick Stanley could be forgiven for being a tad frustrated.
Stanley’s got the two-year-old crop “of a lifetime,” but no feature races to target.
But the pragmatic Stanley insists he’s got nothing to complain about in this confronting landscape.
“We’re dealing with a worldwide issue. People need to be safe before we worry about racing horses,” he said.
“Sure this has hit my stable hard, probably harder than many because of the great batch of two-year-olds I’ve got, but I’d prefer to look for positives than negatives.
“This could be a blessing in disguise. In three or four years, we might have one of the best Grand Circuit crops ever because we haven’t raced these two-year-olds hard.”
Stanley has already unleashed buzz juveniles Soho Lanikai, Bar Room Banta and Soho Almasi.
Another couple of his stellar crop strut their stuff at Melton tomorrow (Thursday).
Drain The Swamp, who ran an eye-catching third on debut in a hot field, and debutante Sayitaintso Joe tackle the Woodlands 2YO Pace over 1720m.
“They both go well, but Drain The Swamp is the better of them,” he said.
“I think he’d have gone close to winning had he steered better, instead of hanging, at crucial times at his only run and that was a strong race.
“He’s not far off my very best babies on ability, but he’s stronger than fast, so he’ll get better with time and when the races stretch out to longer distances.
“Sayitaintso Joe looked good in a recent trial. He’s a speedy youngster, who will go best with a sit and saved for the last run at them. He’s probably a bit below our best babies at this stage.”
Stanley drives Drain The Swamp with youngster Ryan Duffy aboard Sayitaintso Joe.
More broadly, Stanley has cut his team right back from 30 to just eight in work.
“All my other top two-year-olds are in the paddock,” he said. “We took a big hit with the regional racing here in Victoria because we don’t have a lot of country-class horses.
“But, as I said, I’m looking for the positives and it gives us the chance to get a bit of a rest compared to normal and have more family time.”