Wellington trainer Peter Stanley will turn his attention towards the Gilgandra Cup meeting on Monday, with his in-form mares Not Negotiating and The Long Run to be ridden by his daughter and 1.5kg claiming apprentice Ashleigh Stanley in the feature races on the program.
Last start Coonabarabran Sprint winner The Long Run has drawn gate one in the $35,000 Gilgandra Town Plate and recent Warren winner Not Negotiating has drawn gate two in the $45,000 Gilgandra Cup.
Stanley believes his mares are primed to run good races for connections.
“Once mares are on song, you try and keep them that way if you can,” Stanley said.
“Mares are just different to horses to train and these two are going pretty good at the moment and to be honest, they are two honest mares, and they are big chances in their respective races.
“They have raised their benchmark recently, but they are still competitive, and both are tryers, and they put in their best in every time, whether they come first, fifth or last, and they will give it a good go at Gilgandra.”
Seven-year-old Not Negotiating has been a good performer for connections, winning seven races in 40 starts, including the 2020 Cotton Cup and 2021 Mudgee Cup, and Stanley is predicting a big run in this year’s Gilgandra Cup.
“Not Negotiating; she is racing terrific at the moment. She was a little bit dour at Coonabarabran but her run before that was exceptional,” Stanley said.
“She is on the fresher side this time and she is doing everything right.”
The Long Run is another proven performer, with the eight-year-old starting 59 times for 11 wins, and the Olympus mare registered some nice victories in Open Handicap races in the lead-up to her last start Coonabarabran Sprint win.
“With The Long Run, she ran well to win that Coonabarabran Sprint, and she did it tough in the last 100 metres, but she has come through the run really well and she is not without her chances in that race at Gilgandra.”
Stanley, who was a popular jockey on the NSW country circuit, has really taken to training, and he wants to add Gilgandra’s feature race trophies to his mantlepiece.
“I’ve never won a Gilgandra Cup. I’ve ridden in plenty over the years, and I ran third in it one year, but I’d love to win one as a trainer,” Stanley said.
Monday’s Gilgandra Cup meeting is the second day of Gilgandra Jockey Club’s carnival, which begins on Saturday.
The first day is a six-race Sky 2 New Year’s Eve program, with entertainment by Brad Haling set to have patrons dancing their way into the new year.
There will also be a jumping castle, water slides, and an ice cream truck for the kids, and plenty of refreshments and food for everyone on course.
The kid’s entertainment and Brad Haling will return on Monday for the Sky 1, eight-race showcase Gilgandra Cup program, and the club is hopeful of a big two days of racing, fashions, and entertainment.