Adelaide sprinter Stirling Grove is only an outside chance to contest next month’s Group One The Goodwood in his home state despite an emphatic win at Flemington.
The three-year-old gave his rivals at least two kilograms in Saturday’s My Room Plate (1100m) to keep his unbeaten straight track record at Flemington intact.
Ridden by apprentice Adam McCabe, the son of Mossman controlled the race in front carrying 57.5kg and held off a strong challenge from Eclair Flyer to score by a short head with Sheila’s Star 1-1/4 lengths away third.
One of Victoria’s most promising young riders McCabe, who claims two kilos, has now ridden 21 city winners.
Trainer Richard Jolly could have run Stirling Grove in the Group Three McKay Stakes at Morphettville on Saturday but chose to make the trip to Flemington where the gelding had previously won the Schweppes Tonic (1200m) on Melbourne Cup Day.
Last start he would have finished closer than sixth to Shrapnel in the Group Two Yallambee Classic (1200m) at Morphettville but was unable to get a clear run in the straight.
“He’s got a really good record and didn’t have lot of luck in the Yallambee,” Jolly said.
“He’s probably just off the top level but in the right Group Two or Three races he’s certainly capable of winning.
“He’s getting a bit hard to place now because he is getting up in the weights and while The Goodwood is tempting the set weight and penalty conditions don’t really suit him.
“We might even freshen him up for the spring and bring him back here.”
The Goodwood is at Morphettville on May 8.