Trainer Brent Stanley expects Royal Standing to roll forward from a wide barrier and be among the leading division in the Group 1 $1.5m AAMI Victoria Derby (2500m) at Flemington on Saturday.
The former jockey, who has only been training for two years, isn’t worried about drawing gate fifteen of seventeen in the original barrier draw with the only emergency, Verreaux drawing inside him at fourteen.
“He will definitely go forward, he’s a free rolling horse. The only question is that I’d have to worry about is the 2500m,” Stanley said.
Like all the trainers of the three year olds at this time of the year, the unknown is the step up to the 2500m for the first time.
Stanley had targeted the Victoria Derby as Royal Standing’s main Spring Carnival target and is thrilled to have a runner is such a prestigious race on the first day of the Melbourne Cup Carnival after only been training for such a short period of time.
“It’s a great thrill to have a horse running in a derby,” Stanley said.
“Coming up next week it will be my second year of training.”
“He just has natural ability. He has done a great job as a two year old, stakes placed a couple of times, he has run really good leading into this race. We have tried to aim him for the one race.”
Royal Standing broke his maiden status with a win over 1309m at Seymour on September 25 and Stanley has gradually stepped him up in distance since with regular jockey Damian Lane to ride again on Saturday.
At his last start Royal Standing raced in the first three and four before finishing fourth, just over two lengths behind Moonovermanhattan in the Group 2 $200,000 Dilmah Exceptional Teas Vase (2040m) at Moonee Valley last Saturday.
Moonovermanhattan is also likely to push forward from barrier twelve and the favourite, the Gai Waterhouse trained Hampton Court, will also be in the first half a dozen from gate eleven.
Hampton Court has been installed the $2.80 Victoria Derby favourite with Ladbrokes.com.au following his win in the Group 1 $400,000 Moet & Chandon Spring Champion Stakes (2000m) at Randwick on October 11.
The Chris Waller trained Preferment is on the second line of betting at $5.50 after running second in the Listed $120,000 Emsley Lodge Racing Geelong Classic (2200m) at Geelong on October 22 while Moonovermanhattan is marked at $9.
Royal Standing is one of the outsiders of the field at $67.