Stanley Road Lands Drama Charged Super Stayers

STANLEY Road has announced his arrival as one of the best stayers in the land with victory in the Group 1 Super Stayers on Saturday night.

Adam Dobbin

27 February 2021

STANLEY Road has cemented his arrival as one of the best stayers in the land with a dominant victory in the Group 1 Fanta Bale Super Stayers (725m) at The Meadows on Saturday night.

But while Stanley Road’s powerhouse performance was full of merit there was a disappointing side-note with race favourite Houdini Boy going amiss midway through proceedings.

For leading NSW trainer Mark Gatt, Stanley Road’s Group 1 Super Stayers triumph is just reward for plenty of patience and perseverance with the son of Allen Deed.

Comprehensively beaten at his first three appearances in early 2020, Gatt elected to turn the talented yet enigmatic chaser out for a decent spell with the plan to start all over again.

And it’s a plan that has proven to pay major dividends with Stanley Road repaying Gatt’s faith in spades, ascending to the top of the staying ranks in a relatively short period of time.

“They are real creatures of habit – be it winning or losing it does become infectious,” Gatt said.

“Early on this dog was just doing things wrong and losing was becoming a habit for him. But with time and maturity he’s turned it right around and come out the other side.

“But it doesn’t always work out that way. It’s just great that his ability hasn’t gone to waste. And there’s plenty more ahead for him you’d think as well.

“He deserved that win tonight.”

Stanley Road clocked a race record 42.15 to land Saturday night’s $100,000 first prize, joining an illustrious group of stayers to win the showpiece half-mile event.

Defeating SA star Sir Truculent by three lengths with Sunset Bourbski in third, the victory extended the son of Allen Deed’s record to 11 wins from 26 starts with prizemoney now in excess of $210,000.

And while the epic win handed Gatt his first Group 1 triumph in Victoria he was at pains to heap praise on Paul Bartolo, the Melbourne Cup winning trainer overseeing Stanley Road’s Super Stayers preparation to perfection.

“I’ve known Paul for a good 15 years now and I can’t explain how good a man he is with a dog,” Gatt said.

“He’s one of those blokes that will do more for someone else’s dog than he would for his own. We’ve been in regular contact but he hasn’t missed a beat with Stanley Road – he deserves a lot of the credit for tonight. He’s done a wonderful job.”

While elated with his charge’s maiden Group 1 success, Gatt echoed the thoughts of the entire greyhound industry in extending his thoughts to Houdini Boy and connections.

“He’s a great dog – you hate seeing that in any race let alone a Group 1,” Gatt said. “Hopefully everything is okay with him.

“My eyes were fixed on Stanley Road for the race and when Here’s Tears was running him off the track up the back I was screaming at the TV.

“But when he got clear room he really got motoring. He deserves that win – he’s barely put a foot wrong these past few months.”

Stanley Road, owned by Eddie Kingswell, will now return home for a tilt at the Group 1 Association Cup at Wentworth Park during the Golden Easter Egg carnival, the scene of his Group 2 Summer Distance Plate success last month.