SINCE Peter Stanley moved his training base from Orange to Bathurst just over 12 months ago, he has made it his mission to promote racing at his new home track.
So when he heard that his mare Kahluastorm was one of six Bathurst chances who will line up in today’s $25,000 Soldier's Saddle at Tyers Park, the highlight of the Bathurst Thoroughbred Racing Club’s calendar, he was delighted.
The only thing that would be a better promotion is if one of those trainers - Paul Theobald, Wayne Cohen, Kevin Higgins, Dean Mirfin, Shane Cunynghame or himself - was to take out the race.
“Six Bathurst runners in that field, well that’s just A1. This is it, that’s great for Bathurst and it would be very nice now if I came out and won it,” Stanley said.
While Stanley might be relatively new to calling Bathurst his home base, he is well aware of how important the annual Anzac Day meeting is.
Kahluastorm was one of 27 nominations for the 1400 metres, Class 3 saddle and that she made the final field of 14 means that Stanley gets his first chance to win the feature.
“This is the first one I think I have ever had in the Soldier’s Saddle,” he said.
“It’s a pretty special sort of event, it’s one of the main events of the year for the Bathurst club and the track condition is absolutely spectacular. It’s a dead four at the moment at the worst and will possibly come into a good three.
“I am tickled pink to have a runner in it and I’ve also got a couple of other runners on the day.”
Aside from facing handy runners trained by his fellow Bathurst conditioners, Stanley’s five-year-old Flying Pegasus-Krystal Storm mare will have to overcome a less than ideal build-up.
The best result of her last campaign was a fourth placing at Cowra on January 12 and while she returned to racing after a four-week spell with a handy second at Tyers Park, she hasn’t run since.
That second placing came on March 17 in a 1200m benchmark 50 race, Kahluastorm narrowly missing out to Ruby Hill.
“That was a really good run and a lot of people actually thought she won, including myself,” Stanley said.
“She then unfortunately got scratched at the barriers the other day [Sunday] at Mudgee, the jockey thought that she was a bit sore in her leg. But I have got the vet to check her since and she is good to go.
“She has been working up to expectations. She did miss that start at Mudgee and I wanted to give her that start and then come into this race, so I’ve given her a hard gallop instead and she performed fine. The vet has checked her and it is all systems go.”