By Bradley Jurd
Six-year-old bay mare Dungannon is set to feature from barrier six in the Schweppes Class 2 Handicap (1300m) in a first start since January 27 at Bathurst today.
“She’s been a consistent mare and I think she’ll fare well,” Stanley said. “She’s an honest little thing.”
Dungannon’s only career win was at Orange in December, in the mare’s 25 race career. Quint Australis will start from barrier five in the Posh Designs Maiden Handicap (1300m), in a first start since September for the five-year-old bay mare.
“She’s back from the paddock and she’s better than she has been,” Stanley said. “The spell has done her well and she’s pretty fit. When we got her she was a big hippie looking horse and it takes longer to get bigger horses ready.”
Ken Dunbar will be on the saddle for both Dungannon and Quint Australis and Stanley spoke highly of the jockey.
“Ken is a great little rider and he got me nine winners one year,” Stanley said. “When they do that, there’s no complaints.”
Grant Buckley will be the jockey for the seven-year-old bay mare City Boots in the Macquarie Medi Spa Class 1 Handicap (1100m).
“She’s an honest old mare but not quite sure if she’s ready for breeding yet. Not sure what’s she trying to tell us,” Stanley said. “I think she’ll fare well, if the conditions are right for her. On a slow track with some juice she’ll fare well but she doesn’t like a hard surface.”
In the final race of the afternoon – the Watermart Maiden Plate (1100m), Stanley will have two horses racing and one as an emergency standby. Five-year-old bay or brown gelding Destiny Raffle will start his four career race, with Adrian Layt on the saddle.
Destiny is Written, a five-year-old brown or black gelding, will be ridden by Dunbar. Stanley said it will be a learning curve for Destiny Raffle in his start.
“He’ll get along quick and if he shows something, he might fall into a hole,” he said. “It will be an educational race for him.”
Stanley said Destiny Is Written was a “naught boy”, but it seems the gelding has “grown a brain”. Paul Theobald, Dean Mirfin and Roy L McCabe are just some of the other Bathurst-based trainers who will feature on the day.