Double or nothing
CASINO trainer Peter Stanley will have to beat a number of hoodoos to claim Sunday's $20,000 Casino RSM Club Casino Cup (1400m), a race synonymous with his family.
The former jockey, who in May became the first Casino trainer since 1988 to win the Beef Week Cup, will have to end a 12-year wait for a home-town winner in the Casino Cup.
The last Casino trainer to claim the race was Michael Trihey with Sir Stensible in 1997. Before that it was Graham Cooke in 1994 when a young Chris Munce guided Bionic Joker to victory.
Should he claim the double with Beef Week Cup winner Misswan, Stanley will become the first trainer for five years to win both major races at the Casino Racing Club.
Beaudesert trainer Ricky Ludwig did it with Sundae Jester in 2004.
“She's going well at the moment but I think the field is a bit stronger for this Sunday than the Beef Week Cup,” Stanley said.
“I think the top weight (the John Shelton-trained Innocenttassie) will be pretty hard to beat.”
The smile on Stanley's face when Misswan charged home to win the Beef Week Cup by two-and-a-half lengths was hard to forget, so if the five-year-old mare managed the double you could imagine Stanley's reaction.
The retired hoop and his family have already had plenty of success in the Casino Cup.
As a rider Stanley won twice, first with Grandstand and then the Centenary Cup on Sandrift in 1980. Sandrift was trained by Stanley's brother Glenn.
And Peter's son Justin won a Casino Cup as a jockey on Row Boat in 2005.
In fact, Justin was considered for the ride on Misswan after returning to Casino for a brief stint but instead Peter Stanley has booked apprentice Emily Kehoe.
“Emily can claim 2kg, which means we still have 6kg on the top weight because he also has an apprentice,” the trainer said.
“Justin's riding three other horses of mine but I thought from the start that he probably wouldn't get on Misswan because of the weight.”
Kehoe has ridden Misswan to two wins but the mare was ridden to victory in the Beef Week Cup by Port Macquarie hoop Marlon Dolendo, who won the Northern Rivers jockeys' premiership last season.
While Stanley was hopeful of enticing Dolendo aboard again, the jockey booked a ride on Hunter Kilner's Silver Mountain.
“I think it's worked out in my favour, no disrespect to Marlon, but Emily can claim the 2kg,” Stanley said.
Depending on how Misswan performs, Stanley may take the mare to the Ballina Cup (1600m) on September 10 with the Lismore Cup (2000m) on September 24 also a possibility.
“We'll probably go to Ballina but we'll see how she pulls up,” he said.
“I usually give her a month between races.
“With Lismore I don't think so, but you never say never. One bloke who rode her reckons she could get 2000m but I've no doubt she can go the mile (1600m).”