STILL coming to grips with the injury to star pacer Soho Tribeca, prominent horseman Michael Stanley hopes part of the void can be filled by a promising freshman.
Just to recap, Soho Tribeca was found to have broken his leg after pulling up sore from last weekend’s Sunshine Sprint at Albion Park.
Soho Tribeca underwent surgery earlier week and is expected to be sidelined for up to a year.
As for his partial replacement, A Fair Ol Dance will face an acid test at Tabcorp Park Melton on Saturday night.
A debut winner at Ballarat a fortnight ago, A Fair Ol Dance is engaged in the time-honoured Tatlow Memorial.
“This will be a good test for him to see where he is at,” Stanley said. “He looked impressive enough in his first race, but this is another ball game.
“Everything he has done on the training track suggests he’s got his share of ability, but he is still learning what it’s all about.
“Whatever he does this preparation is a bonus as he’s still pretty raw and will be better after a good break as a three-year-old.”
A Fair Ol Dance’s task has been made all the more difficult by the draw, with the son of A Rocknroll Dance to come from barrier six.
“The draw isn’t great, but that’s what he has to deal with,” Stanley said. “Like I said, this will be a good test for him, so I’m keen to see how he handles it.”
For all his faith in A Fair Ol Dance’s ability, Stanley believes Lochinvar Art is a standout in the Group Two.
Successful at five of his eight starts, with three placings also to his credit, Lochinvar Art will begin from the second row for trainer Laura Crossland.
“Lochinvar Art has looked pretty good so far and should have the edge on them,” Stanley said. “That’s not saying he can’t be beaten, but it will take a good run from one of the others to do so.”
Crossland plans to send Lochinvar Art for a long break following this weekend’s appearance.
“He’s not eligible for the Breeders’ Crown, so the Tatlow will see out his season,” Crossland said.
“Given what he has shown so far, there is no reason why he won’t come better again as a three-year-old after a good, long break.”