SUTTON Grange trainer Brent Stanley expects his dual metropolitan winner Lucky Fish to relish the return to 1300m on his home track at Bendigo on Saturday.
An outstandingly well supported Golden Mile meeting has elicited a scarcity of locally-trained gallopers, with Stanley leading the charge with at least two starters.
Arguably the best of those chances is Lucky Fish in the benchmark 78 handicap.
The seven-year-old gelding is dropping back in distance following his last start fifth at Morphettville and will be chasing his third win in four starts over the 1300m journey at Bendigo.
"He's been set for this and is on the top of his game; 1300m at Bendigo, his form holds up sensationally," Stanley said.
"It's his pet distance.
"He's actually a difficult horse to have, he needs further than 1200m, but not more than 1300m - he can't get 1400m.
"These 1300m races are few and far between at his rating, but he's set for it.
"Fingers crossed he can do the job for us, he doesn't let me down too often when he's on the mark. He's very consistent."
The gelding's only non-win over 1300m at Bendigo produced a third at last year's Golden Mile meeting.
Stanley is encouraged by the chances of Garbhan, his runner in the 2400m benchmark 84 that will open the day's program.
The six-year-old gelding notched a trio of consecutive wins in November and December, including a metropolitan success at Sandown, but was a luckless ninth at Moonee Valley last week when held up for a run on several occasions.
"I'm sure he can find form and you would think the 2400m would suit him down to the ground," Stanley said.
"He's had a few trials and then over 2000m last week at the Valley, I think it's onwards and upwards for him.
"If he gets just a touch of luck he'll be very competitive."
Stanley will need some good fortune for Not Alone to force his way into the field for the $150,000 Listed Bendigo Guineas (1400m).
The gelding is not guaranteed a start in the race being the second emergency and is stepping up massively in grade following his overdue maiden win at Avoca last weekend.
"He needed another barrier trial, but we thought we'd go (to Avoca) and get some prize money and luckily he won." Stanley said.
"The horse goes good, but he will need to go up to another level.
"Hopefully he'll get run. He's a big striding horse, the bigger track will suit him, so we can take a bit of confidence out of his win last Saturday."
Stanley has previously enjoyed success on Golden Mile day, scoring a victory with Haski in 2018, while his Bendigo Cup winner Red Alto finished a strong third in last year's Golden Mile.
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