Day At The Track

Stanley stars set to sparkle

11:00 AM 25 Jun 2019 NZST
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Michael Stanley with Soho Burning Love
Michael Stanley with Soho Burning Love after the Ballarat heat win
Stu McCormick Photo

Successful Victorian horseman Michael Stanley has every reason to have an air of confidence as he prepares his harness racing stable stars for their next mission.

Both Soho Burning Love (Auckland Reactor-Soho Bordeaux (Western Terror) and her stablemate Rackemup Tigerpie (Rock N Roll Heaven-Victoria Street (Albert Albert) have pulled up a treat after competing in their heats of the 4YO Vicbred Super Series at their Ballarat home track last Friday.

"I'm really happy with them and can't wait for next Saturday nights semi-finals at Melton to come around," said Stanley, who has his stables at Burrumbeet.

Bay mare Soho Burning Love, raced by well-known West Australian breeder-owner Robert Watson, did as she pleased to post an impressive win in the Mares' heats.

"I guess she is just a typical Auckland Reactor progeny - she's all go and revels in racing. She just loves it and gives 100 percent every time," Stanley said.

"She did hit the finish line with plenty in the tank, but to be honest she probably wasn't in the strongest of the four heats," he said.

All the horses on the front row were far more lightly assessed than Soho Burning Love, an M3 class, and that was a factor in Stanley's assessment of the race.

"I decided to circle early because I thought the lead would be up for grabs, and she felt great when I asked her to pick up the tempo over the last half (run in 56.3)," he said.

"She is pretty well at her top for this series."

After running a brilliant fourth in the Ladyship Mile G1 at Menangle on March 2, Stanley decided to ease up a little on the mare's workload.

"We'd competed in four or five feature finals, so it was the perfect time to back-off a bit and get in a position to target further big races," he said.

Two of her four runs this campaign have been wins. Apart from the recent Ballarat win, the other was in the Melton G3 Alabar Silver Chalice on June 8.

Stanley is hoping to go one better than Soho Burning Love's effort in last year's Vicbred Super Series Three-Year-Old Final.

"We finished second, but ran into a smart Emma Stewart pacer in Speak No Evil," he said.

Rackemup Tigerpie, raced by Stanley's father Ian, went down narrowly at Ballarat to Three Summas (Kerryn Manning) in his Entires and Geldings Heat.

"It was a pretty handy effort, so he's also in good form and prior to that he impressed me at Melton with a free-for-all win in solid time."

The Stanley stable has been enjoying a great season with 51 wins and 52 placings from about 125 starters. At least a dozen of the wins have been metropolitan victories.

"We do have the luxury of our number one client Rob Watson being big in the breeding side of the industry so we can keep turning them over. We are extremely lucky that we can do that," he said.

"Most times we have a team of 20 horses, although this might drop down over the cold months. Then the numbers jump back up in spring with young ones coming through."

Terry Gange

NewsAlert PR Mildura

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