Stirling Grove Gets Second Chance At Caulfield

Stirling Grove will take part in the Listed Doveton Stakes at Caulfield this Saturday after missing Monday’s Group 3 Standish Handicap.

The four-year-old gelding fell ill with a bellyache prior to the race and trainer Richard Jolly was forced to scratch him from the field.

Jolly believes the problem may have been caused by the extreme heat wave that lashed Australia’s east coast.

“He was just a little bit off colour the day before the Standish which was probably brought on through the heat,” Jolly said.

“He had a bit of a gut ache which was not too serious but it would have been too much to run him.

“He’s fine now and at least we have another race to fall back on.”

Despite being confident of Stirling Grove’s chances prior to scratching him from the race, Jolly admits he is unsure whether his horse could have bettered Catapulted’s winning run.

“The way Catapulted won I don’t know whether he (Stirling Grove) would have beaten him on the day,” he said.

“As it has turned out it is only a small field on Saturday and the horse galloped on Wednesday morning and is spot-on.”

Stirling Grove will be resuming in Saturday’s Doveton Stakes after taking a two month spell following his second place behind Down Under Boy on Emirates Stakes Day.

The Mossman gelding has won six of his 17 race starts and has earned more than $350,000 in prize money.

Jolly is hoping to run Stirling Grove in the Group 1 Oakleigh Plate on February 25.

“We will just get over Saturday and revise things and see what the best option will be but in the back of my mind I’d like to have him ready for the Oakleigh Plate at Caulfield,” Jolly said.

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