By Tim O’Connor
The flying Pat Stanley continued his rise to top-line star under the care of Kerryn Manning with a blistering victory at Tabcorp Park Melton.
At just his fifth run for the Great Western-based horsewoman, the son of Western Ideal added the IRT Australia Markovina Free For All (2240m) to his recent South Australian Pacing Cup success with a dominant 14m triumph in Saturday night’s feature.
The win, in a mile rate of 1:55.2, continued a great run of form since joining Manning’s yard and plans are now in place for a likely tilt at the Group 2 City of Melton Plate in a fortnight’s time.
“He should measure up, hopefully, in some of the better races,” Manning said.
“He’s headed to America eventually. He’s owned by Ron (Buker) over there but he’s won back his $50,000 that he paid for him and he’s earning more now.
“He said we’d leave him here while we are going well…”
Pat Stanley was bred and raced in the early part of his career in New Zealand and then spent a couple of years with Blake Fitzpatrick in New South Wales before being sent to Victoria.
“When they bought him I hadn’t really heard of him,” Manning said.
“I watched a few of his replays and he looked to go really good without having a lot of luck up there, but (was) always running on really good.”
Manning said Pat Stanley’s win in the South Australian Pacing Cup in early February, when severely pressured in the lead, proved he had the strength as well as the speed he had shown previously. This performance was followed by an eye-catching second behind Code Bailey in the Terang Pacing Cup prior to Saturday night’s success.
Pat Stanley has now had 45 career starts for 14 wins and more than $140,000 in prizemoney.
Champion reinsman Chris Alford produced a winning treble at Melton, scoring in the Allied Express Pace (1200m, 4YO+) with David Aiken-trained Pirate Bay, winning the Benstud Standardbreds Trot (2240m, 4YO+ NR 75-100) with Andy Gath’s Miss Blissful and then the Empire Stallions Claiming Pace (1720m) with Emma Stewart’s Freddy Funk.
Freddy Funk’s triumph capped a perfect night for Stewart, which prepared three runners at Melton for three wins. Also successful was debutant Ideal Dan, which took out the Breckon Farms Sapling Stakes (1720m, 2YO colts and geldings) and Ideal Conquest, which won the TAB Multiplier Pace (2240m, mares NR 70-89).