Horse Racing

Stafford’s Lad to continue the dream story in the Perth Cup

Image: RWWA

Dan Morton-trained Stafford’s Lad Car looks good to deliver one of next week’s race transformations Perth Cup, following his win in today’s ATA Stakes (2200m) in Ascot.

Gelding overcame his rival with a big start at the bottom of the field in the $125,000 event, but displayed a powerful finish to run down the road favorites Pure Devotion in the final 50m and take the win. with a long head.

Stafford’s Lad got his first start for Morton at 58+ over 1300m in Broome earlier this year and was beaten by more than five lengths on that occasion.

He gradually worked his way up on level and distance and won the Kimberley Cup (2020m), before he finished third behind Staaden in Broome Cup (2200m).

Morton dropped the seven-year-old back into the one-mile race at Belmont after the Broome Cup, before a Kalgoorlie Cup attack left the boy second.

Similarly, during construction Perth Cup Campaign, Morton started the seven-year-old running more than a mile at Ascot in October, before he stepped up to the Ascot Gold Cup (1800m) at the blacktype level.

Morton said he’s still pondering how Stafford’s Lad has weathered the rank-and-file races in Broome to become a List winner over a seven-month period.

“It was a really nice ride for him,” he said.

“He was one of those people who stayed taciturn and decent.

“We are learning as we go.

“We brought him back from Broome and he bounced off the buoy.

“We brought him back from Kalgoorlie and he showered again.

“It’s a remarkable animal.”

Taxagano took the lead in the early stages of the Listed feature, with outlaw Decoy Noxious sitting outside of him.

Midnight Blue and Pure Devotion sit at the far end of the field, with Stafford’s Lad behind the Grant and Alana Williams-trained pair.

Pure Devotion, the $2.25 TABtouch favorite, got ahead with 200m to go but couldn’t hold out with the Stafford’s Lad charging.

Winning jockey Chris Parnham says Stafford’s Lad will be hard to beat in Perth Cup on New Year’s Day.

“He was a fit stay and he was just working on it,” he said.

“He’ll like the distance.”

Stafford’s Lad is now the third $5 favorite with TABtouch for Perth Cup.

*For existing customers only. 2nd Racing Bet. Except SA & WA. T’s & C’s apply. Responsible gambling.

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