Stanley breaks through

Kyneton-trained galloper Stanley was impressive in winning a Maiden Hurdle at Casterton on Saturday.
And trainer Neil Dyer was full of praise for 25-year-old Irish jumps jockey Dylan McDonagh, now based at Ballarat.
Six-year-old Stanley gave McDonagh his first jumps win in Australia.
“He’s now ridden Stanley for us three times, and I’d give him 10 out of 10 for each ride,” Dyer declared after the Casterton victory.
“He doesn’t get flustered, and he’s a good horseman, like some of the other riders who have come over here from the UK.”
McDonagh finished third on Stanley at Warrnambool, was runner-up to former Melbourne Cup hope Voodoo Image at his next outing, and never looked like being beaten on Saturday.
He drew clear in the straight and won by over three lengths at the end of the 3480m journey.
Dyer has trained several jumpers in past seasons, but Stanley was not destined for jumping when he came to the Dyer Racing stable from Queensland where he had won good races on the flat.
“We took him to Darwin for the Cup last year, but he never fired …. I don’t think he liked the dirt track,” Dyer said.
As a last resort, Dyer sent Stanley to Eric Musgrove, a renowned trainer of jumpers, for his opinion.
“He told us he can certainly jump, and that’s proved correct,” Dyer said.
A syndicate of 16 racing enthusiasts own Stanley, and members are hoping for more successes.
Dyer said its a case of Stanley “working his way up”, and long range he could be aiming for better jumps events like Warrnambool next year.
The ongoing coronavirus pandemic has restricted the availability of jumps races this season.
Stanley, a six-year-old, has now won eight races with stake earnings of $289,100 from 42 starts.
Dyer said his former Darwin Cup winner, Royal Request, may soon make his jumping debut at Warrnambool.

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