Taste any good? It was Veuve-licious!

Australia hosted much bigger two-year-old races today than the Sensational Springvale Plate, but there were no more important to Brent Stanley.

The fledgling trainer produced progressive Northern Meteor filly Veuvelicious to win the $80,000 event that kicked off the Sportingbet Park (Sandown) card.

It was a significant as is was Stanley’s first Saturday city winner as a trainer. But it was satisfying because it continued the evolution of his Kyneton stable.

Like most young trainers, Stanley cut his teeth with horses who had come from other stables and he is ecstatic that he is now getting the job done with horses that he sourced himself.

“She was the first two-year-old that I raced and these are the horses that I bought myself,” Stanley said.

“The rest have been hand-me-down horses, which are all winning races, which is great, but it’s good to have horses that I’ve prepared from day dot myself that are also winning races.”

Venturing to the winner’s stall has become a habit for horses turned out by Stanley, who struck fame as an apprentice jockey when he won the 1996 Caulfield Cup aboard Arctic Scent but turned his hand to training once he was forced out of the saddle.

Stanley had his first runner in November 2012 – Gypsy’s Best, who won at Kyneton – and 210 subsequent starters have produced 40 winners at a strike-rate of almost 20 percent.

His other three city winners have all been at Moonee Valley night meetings.

Stanley got a bargain with Veuvelicious, a horse that he had his hand up to buy for $35,000 at last year’s Inglis Melbourne Premier Yearling Sale but got for $5000 cheaper than that.

“I had my hand up to buy her, but they knocked the hammer down and passed her in,” Stanley said.

“But I just loved her so I went straight away and bought her. I went up (to the vendor) and said, ‘what do you want for her?’.

“She got passed in for $35,000, so I said I’ll give you $30000, which they took.”

Stanley and Veuvelicious’s owners, which include major supporter David Moodie, who also raced Arctic Scent, is now dreaming of Group 1 glory with the filly he has always thought would be better the further she went.

After a Moonee Valley eighth over 1000 metres, she was third behind Awesome Rock – who later started favourite in the Group 2 Sires Produce Stakes – over 1300m at Sportingbet Park.

She streeted his rivals today, bolting home by five lengths as a $7.50 chance thanks to a bold front-running ride from Stephen Baster.

Stanley has always had an eye on this year’s $1 million Crown Oaks, at Flemington in November, with Veuvelicious but she might not have to wait that long for a crack at Group 1 glory.

The ambitious trainer is contemplating paying a late entry free for the $1 million ATC Sires’ Produce Stakes (1400m) and $400,000 Champagne Stakes (1600m) in Sydney, where today’s key Golden Slipper lead-ups were held.

“I’ll see how she pulls up, but Sydney’s on the boards and we’ll have a look at that,” Stanley said.

“She’s got a great constitution, she copes with everything – she’ll go home and lick up (eat) tonight – but I did say to David Moodie and the other clients before she raced that this is a serious Oaks horse this.”

Article: Brad Bishop, RacingVictoria.net.au

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