Trainer James Cummings will decide today if dual acceptor Good Standing heads to Brisbane for the Victory Stakes on Saturday or stays in New South Wales to run in the Hawkesbury Guineas.
Good Standing was spelled after running seventh to Awesome Rock in the Group 1 $2m Emirates Stakes (2000m) at Flemington during the 2016 Melbourne Spring Carnival and the three year old has had two recent Randwick barrier trials for a sixth and a second in preparation for his return to the track.
Cummings now has the job to decide if Good Standing takes on the older sprinters first up in the Group 2 $200,000 Ellyce Galvin Victory Stakes (1200m) at Eagle Farm or sticks to his own age in the Group 3 $200,000 Blacktown Workers Club Hawkesbury Guineas (1400m) at Hawkesbury.
“There’s the option to run in the Victory Stakes,” Cummings told AAP.
“We’ll have a look at what the track will be like and make a decision.”
Good Standing has drawn barrier three in the seven horse Victory Stakes field with Mark Zahra booked to ride if Cummings heads north while Josh Parr will be aboard the Artie Schiller colt if he goes around in the Hawkesbury Guineas from barrier thirteen in the fourteen horse field.
The Eagle Farm track is currently rated a Soft 7 on Thursday and is under extreme pressure after receiving a lot of criticism on how it is performing following a total reconstruction which was completed twelve months ago and this could influence Cummings’ decision with Good Standing’s form showing no wet track form while the Hawkesbury track is rated a Good 4.
Early betting for the Victory Stakes at Ladbrokes.com.au has Good Standing marked at $8 while in the Hawkesbury Guineas he is rated as a $7 chance.
Last year’s Doomben 10000 winner Music Magnate heads the Victory Stakes market order at $2.45 just ahead of Gary Moore’s Group 1 winner Takedown at $3.30.
The Hawkesbury Guineas is a more open betting race with Hugh Bowman’s mount Calanda heading the market order at $4.80 ahead of the local three year old Spright at $5 and the Gai Waterhouse and Adrian Bott trained Prompt Response sharing the $7 mark with Good Standing.