An extra 200 metres and a return to Rosehill are the factors boosting Noel Mayfield-Smith’s confidence in Standard Bearer ahead of the 250,000 Inglis Classic.
The colt has run fourth at his past two starts over 1000 metres at Warwick Farm but his trainer says the bigger track for Saturday’s race should be to Standard Bearer’s advantage given his racing style.
Standard Bearer’s only other start was his debut at Rosehill when he ran home late to come within a short half head second of Regimental Pride.
“The extra distance will suit him for sure,” Mayfield-Smith said.
“If as it seems, he is going to get back, the 1200 metres at Rosehill should be right up his alley.”
The race is restricted to graduates of the William Inglis Classic Sale, ruling out at least one of Standard Bearer’s recent opponents, Twilight Royale.
The Bjorn Baker-trained Twilight Royale won the Inglis Nursery on December 22 but came out of the Premier sale in Melbourne while Gooree Stud home-bred Swing Vote was the winner of the most recent race in which Standard Bearer competed.
Jay Ford will replace the suspended Hugh Bowman on Standard Bearer, a $20,000 yearling.
Standard Bearer is by the Classic Sale’s most accomplished graduate, Choisir, who cost $55,000 in 2001.
The Paul Perry-trained Choisir won the 2002 Classic and was placed in all three legs of Sydney’s juvenile triple crown.
He won the Group One Lightning the following autumn and later in the year travelled to England for a famous Royal Ascot sprint double and a second in the prestigious July Cup.
Despite the absence of Twilight Royale, Baker will still be well represented with Fuerza and Awarewolf.
Fuerza ran second to his stablemate in the Inglis Nursery while Awarewolf was sent back to the barrier trials after a wayward second at Queanbeyan.
Both Baker horses will wear blinkers on Saturday.