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Good Standing has choice between Derby and the Mackinnon Stakes after Classic win

Headwind: Blake Shinn riding Good Standing to win the Ladbrokes Classic. Photo: Vince CaligiuriJames Cummings and Blake Shinn had each experienced how hard it was to face the breeze and win going into Saturday’s Caulfield Classic, so it was the last place they wanted to be when Good Standing was in front.
Nanjing Night Net

He went there and showed strength to win the Classic, opening up a dilemma between the VRC Derby and Mackinnon Stakes going forward.

Shinn had sat in the breeze and ran third on Acatour earlier in the day, while Cummings’ Saavan had hit the front a long way out in the Ethereal Stakes, where she held on for third.

However, neither were in the class of Good Standing. He was the best horse in the race, and Shinn decided to take advantage of it and make the others chase.

Good Standing controlled the tempo, slowing it to a near walk, and then used his turn of foot at the turn to grab a couple of lengths and proved impossible to run down.

“We never intended to lead but it was gifted to us, and coming to the 600m I had a lapful of horse,” Shinn said. “I knew he had the strongest form and I knew he had a sprint, but he had to be tough as well.

“It is really tough out there in front into that wind and you really work down the side but he was very strong to the line. I don’t think there will be too many horses leading like that today.

“I felt the other one coming at the end but he was just too good and had something left to give.”

Good Standing was there to be beaten after controlling the tempo, and Rocketeer, which had had the muster back in the field, could only get within three-quarters of a length, with Inference another length back in third.

It leaves Cummings with a few choices, Good Standing was made the equal VRC Derby favourite at $5.50 in the wake of his win, along with the fast-closing Rocketeer.

“I have got him in the Derby but I have also been pretty interested in getting him to weight-for-age and in the Mackinnon Stakes. He would only carry 51kg in three weeks,” Cummings said.

“If some of those big guns go to the paddock I think he could give a race like that a big shout.

“You saw how strong he was there after doing all the work and I had a filly that was very well in Saavan, which shows how tired you get when you face that wind.”

Mick Price will look for a second VRC Derby in a row with Rocketeer, which ran its fourth second on end.

“Brad [Rawiller] came back and said if he didn’t get held up at a vital stage he would have won,” Price said. “When you are hitting the line like that at 2000m it is hard not to go the Derby.”

Rawiller rued losing Good Standing’s back about the halfway mark, which meant he was a pair further back in the run, which was the difference at the end.

“I had a good run in the first part of the race and when Chris Symons [on Odeon] got in front of me they pulled up to a walk and then the leaders stole too big a break on me until we got clear,” Rawiller said.  “If we held the box seat, we win.”

Inference should continue on to the Derby after running home hard with Dwayne Dunn left behind tired horses when he should have been going forward.

“It was just a really messy race. They kept backing up and we were checking at the 600. He is a beautiful horse and did a good job,” Dunn said.

This story Administrator ready to work first appeared on Nanjing Night Net.

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