Arran Bay wins race of tactics at Mornington

Arran Bay has found a winning groove in Melbourne stretching from 1000m to Saturday’s latest victory over 2000m in the Peninsula News Group Hcp at Mornington.

The good-looking son of Vinery sire All Too Hard had won a Morphettville maiden as a spring 3yo and ventured across the border later that season to claim the VRC Silver Bowl Final (1600m) at Flemington for trainer Phillip Stokes

Arran Bay topped and tailed his 4yo season winning at Pakenham and Caulfield and he’s gone to another level this term with just one loss in his last four starts.  He completed a Flemington double in March before adapting to changing circumstances at Mornington to defeat Think ‘N’ Fly (So You Think) and Lionel (Lope De Vega).

“That was a tactical race and I had to revise our plans going past the post the first time,” jockey Dan Stackhouse revealed.  “I thought we would slot in but a few kicked up and we were caught three-deep.  It’s a tight track and they weren’t going quick so I went forward and he settled outside the leader.  He doesn’t like being cluttered up and ran it right out.”

Stokes was much happier back in the enclosure than he was in running.  “I didn’t know what ‘Stacky’ was doing!  What he was going to do and how it ended up was very messy but the horse got to the lead and I was always confident he could win for the first time over 2000m today.

“He was very strong and I put that down to his relaxed demeanour.  He’s going well and is a great horse for the owners.  He’s doesn’t mind a soft track, either and that could help deeper into this prep.”

Arran Bay (5g All Too Hard – Stolen Girlfriend by Canny Lad) has earned $656,000 for owner-breeders Alan and Colleen Jackson in partnership with former Racing Victoria CEO Bernard Saundry.  He’s a half-brother to VRC Poseidon Stakes (LR, 1400m) winner One For One (Duke Of Marmalade) and Hong Kong winner Hurry Hurry Gain (Press Statement).

All Too Hard has three lots entered for the Inglis HTBA Yearling Sale at Riverside Stakes this Sunday including the Vinery-consigned filly from Miss Reef (Tavistock).  Catalogued as Lot 49 (as agent), she is a first foal and the dam also has a weanling filly by Headwater and a PPT to Star Turn.