Trainer Brent Stanley believes that the 2015 Victoria Derby lead-up form of Red Alto is better than it looks on paper and he is hopeful that the maiden will perform well in the Group 1 event at Flemington on Saturday.
Red Alto was set for the Victoria Derby when he was purchased as a yearling and he has been given a traditional path to the $1.5 million event, with the High Chaparral gelding taking plenty of miles into the race.
The three-year-old is yet to record a maiden race win, but he finished second in the Dandenong Handicap (1000m) at Moonee Valley on July 15 and he was only narrowly denied by Victoria Derby favourite Tarzino in the Slickpix Maiden Plate (1400m) at Ballarat on August 27.
Stanley told Racing Ahead that there is absolutely no knock on the form of Red Alto ahead of the Victoria Derby and he believes that the promising gelding will be more than competitive – especially some rain hits Flemington ahead of the race.
“We have been waiting for the Derby for him,” Stanley said.
“It is exciting to buy a horse as a yearling, set him for the race and to get him here.
“He has had a long preparation.
“We started him in a 1000 metre race at Moonee Valley where he has run second and he has been luckless in a form of his starts.
“His only two blow-out runs were where he drew out in the carpark and he just had no hope from where he was.
“The short-priced favourite only beat him a nose three runs back and I have no doubt he shouldn’t have beaten him, so his form is pretty good.
“Hopefully we can get a softer track, he performs very good on soft tracks, and hopefully that rain can come on Friday evening.”
Red Alto has shown a degree of tactical versatility during his racing career and he was settled at the tail of the field in the Listed UCI Stakes (1800m) at Flemington on October 4 before he was settled right on the speed in the Group 2 Moonee Valley Vase (2000m) on Saturday.
Stanley revealed that he will instruct jockey Opie Bosson to press forward on Red Alto in the early stages of the 2015 Victoria Derby and he is confident that the gelding will have no problems running out a strong 2500 metres.
“He will roll forward,” Stanley said.
“There are several trainers thinking about going forward from their barriers in this race, but he doesn’t have to do any work, which is why it is very important drawing a barrier in these races.
“He will spend the first half a mile letting everything else work itself out and he will do no work at all.
“He (Opie) came back in and said that I can’t wait for the 2500 because he went the same speed all the way.
“When the leader let down at the 700 he just snuck away and got him off the bridle a little bit, so I thought he snuck to his guns well and the extra 500 metres will suit him right down to the ground because he won’t run any slower.”
Red Alto is currently available at 2015 Victoria Derby odds of $101 and he is the extreme outsider of the field along with first emergency Bullish Stock ($101).
Don’t miss out on the best Victoria Derby odds that are available with leading online bookmaker Ladbrokes, who are offering Best Tote or Starting Price +20% for every race at Flemington on Saturday.