Stanley Road On Track For Zoom Top Audition

STANLEY Road will be auditioning for a spot in next month’s Zoom Top in Saturday's Group 2 Summer Distance Plate Final (720m) at Wentworth Park.

Adam Dobbin

21 January 2021

STANLEY Road will be auditioning for a spot in next month’s Group 1 Zoom Top when he takes his place as favourite in Saturday night’s Group 2 Summer Distance Plate Final (720m) at Wentworth Park.

Last Saturday night the Mark Gatt-trained stayer turned in a “career best” run when thundering home to finish a narrow second to fastest heat winner Run Like Jess in 41.91.

“I thought it was his best career run and from the red on Saturday night he gets his chance to win a group race,” Gatt said.

“Since he’s gone over the distance he’s really learned how to race and put it all together. He’s going inside and outside of dogs now which he showed last week and is improving all the time.

“Early on I thought he was going to be a waste of a very talented dog but he’s come out the other side.”

Victory in Saturday night’s group 2 staying feature will all but guarantee the son of Allen Deed a place in the Group 1 Zoom Top (725m) invitational to be staged at The Meadows on February 13.

Tab.com.au have the up-and-coming staying star favourite at $2.80 ahead of Run Like Jess (5) at $3.80 and Blazing Cartier (8) at $4.50.

“I’d love to see him get a cushy run on the fence in third or fourth from the good draw,” Gatt said.

“Run Like Jess should lead but I expect Prim And Proper to be up there early as well.

“The dog had a few issues going into the heats so to go the way he did blew me away.

“Everything has been perfect this week and he really does get his chance to win a good race. If he wins and gets into the Zoom Top we’ll start aiming towards that but if he doesn’t the option is there to go to Brisbane next week for the Gold Cup. We’ll just see.”

While Gatt is brimming with confidence about Stanley Road’s chances, the Thirlmere trainer admits to being much more reserved about Ritza Coen’s claims in the Group 1 Paws Of Thunder Final (520m).

“He’ll need a lot of luck – probably a miracle,” Gatt said.

“Zulu Warlord looks the leader and if Wow gets into second out after him the race is over. But if Vicki’s Queen troubles Wow early the race changes and opens up a bit.

“If he could run a place it’d be a bonus from where he’s boxed.”

In race four, the Ladbrokes Switch Maiden Final (520m), Gatt is represented by 30.32 heat winner Zipping Stewie from box one.

Owned by Martin Hallinan, Zipping Stewie is a son of Ritza Lenny and Sherbini, Gatt racing both the father and mother throughout their careers.

“He’s the first dog I’ve trained for Marty,” Gatt said.

“I think he can lead the race but being realistic if the checks (Jungle Deuce) gets right behind me I’m in trouble.

“My dog has trialled 30 dead but the other dog went 29.89 in the heats after missing it.

“I’ll need my dog to do everything right and the favourite to do a bit wrong.”

Tab.com.au has Zipping Stewie at $3.80 with Jungle Deuce for Jack Smith the rock solid $1.75 favourite.