If history repeats, former leading jockey Brent Stanley will return home a winner from his first attempt at a Wagga Gold Cup Carnival as a trainer.
Stanley will saddle up nine runners over the two days with starters in all of the feature races including Red Alto ($16 on TAB fixed odds) and Shaq ($35) in the $160,000 Bendigo Bank Wagga Gold Cup and Critical Thinking ($9.50) in the $150,000 XXXX Gold Wagga Town Plate.
The former Caulfield Cup-winning jockey has fond memories of Wagga from his early riding days out of Queanbeyan.
“The first ride I had at Wagga was a winner on a really good mare called Ossie Cossie,” Stanley recalled.
“I hope it can be the same with my horses. I have never had a runner at Wagga before, but I’m looking forward to being there for the two days and hopefully, we can get some winners.”
Ossie Cossie was a pin-up horse in the region winning 19 races more than 20 years ago when Stanley was forging his career as a jockey.
He turned to training some five years ago and has left no stone unturned to ensure he can have a presence at Wagga. Stanley has an interesting contingent of runners he feels will measure up.
The Victorian trainer has booked dual Melbourne Cup-winning jockey Corey Brown for the majority of his runners including Critical Thinking ($9.50) who will start from barrier one in the Town Plate. Critical Thinking finished just behind dual Group One winner Shoals in a recent trial at Cranbourne in preparation for Wagga.
“He prefers it over a bit further than 1200 metres, but he is back off a break and he did win first-up before over 1200 metres,” Stanley said. “He has a good barrier, but he would have to improve on what he has done so far. He does have a fair amount of ability and trialed well so hopefully, he can be in the finish.”
As for his two Cup contenders, Stanley believes both can figure if they perform to their best. Shaq, who ran midfield in the Albury Cup, will need to run to his best while Red Alto will be at his top following three starts since a spell: “Red Alto can win if he puts his best foot forward and Shaq would have to be at the top of his game to win,” he said.