The locals were cheering when outsider Red Alto scored a boil over with a home town victory in the Group 3 $350,000 Jayco Bendigo Cup (2400m) at Bendigo today.
The Brent Stanley trained Red Alto was sent out at the long odds of $71 but was able to respond to the hard riding of Michael Walker to hold off the more fancied Dal Harraild ($5.50) and maintain a half a neck winning margin on the line.
The New Zealand stayer Sir Charles Road ($12) ran another honest race to claim third place ahead of Lord Fandango ($3.80) while the $2.70 favourite Furrion finished in fifth spot.
Walker was able to get Red Alto into a lovely trailing position just behind the leading division after jumping from barrier eleven in the thirteen horse field and then had enough horse underneath him to take advantage of the run when it presented itself at the top of the straight.
“Everything worked out to plan,” Walker said.
“I had a beautiful run, waited for the split and got it.”
Red Alto was coming off a last start fifth in the 2200m Hamilton Cup on October 13 but Stanley said with the addition of a tongue tie today, he was confident that the six year old would run a big race.
“His form has been good. He ran fourth in a Derby, sixth in a Queensland Derby. He has been around these type of horses before and he just needed everything to go right,” Stanley said.
“He is at the end of a long preparation and he gave us a great thrill winning that race at Randwick against all the Wallers’.”
“He has done a good job and has always had the ability, just needed everything to go right.”
“It is the end of the preparation today. The owners were a bit concerned about his last start but he got his tongue over the bit so tongue tie today.”
“He could breathe today so he could get to the line.”
Stanley had success back in August when he took Red Alto to Randwick to win a 2400m BenchMark 88 Handicap as well as a third at his next start in a similar race.
Red Alto was the second leg of a winning double for Stanley and Walker who teamed up earlier in the day to win with As It Lies in the Fillies and Mares BenchMark 70 Handicap (1100m).