Bendigo Golden Mile goal for Arran Bay

Consistent All Too Hard galloper Arran Bay will be given a golden opportunity to make the grade in Stakes company following his latest victory at Flemington on Easter Saturday.

As a late-season 3yo, Arran Bay had opened his account at Flemington in the VRC Silver Bowl Final (1600m) and he completed a March double at Headquarters with an on-pace victory in the Furphy Mile (1600m).

“He loves it here and is improving every prep,” trainer Phillip Stokes said.  “Sitting on the speed wasn’t the plan today but they didn’t go hard and Dan (Stackhouse) didn’t want to fight him.  We raised the bar in the (Listed) Anniversary Vase last time and came back to the right race today.”

Arran Bay was the pick of the yard and Stokes is contemplating another shot at black-type in the $200,000 Golden Mile (LR, 1600m) at Bendigo on April 13.

Stackhouse stalked Irish-bred leader Bear Story (Kodiac) and quickened to sit at his girth into the straight.  He lifted again to counter another Irish-bred import Camacho Galeron (Camacho) who closed late with El Soleado (Toronado).

“He doesn’t like being cluttered up and he was cruising in the sweet spot,” Stackhouse said. “I always had plenty of horse underneath me and he kicked twice in the straight.”

Arran Bay (5g All Too Hard – Stolen Girlfriend by Canny Lad) is a homebred for Alan and Colleen Jackson in partnership with former Racing Victoria CEO Bernard Saundry.  Jackson was Chairman of NZTR when he appointed Saundry CEO of New Zealand’s administrative body in 2017.

His dam Stolen Girlfriend also foaled VRC Poseidon Stakes (LR, 1400m) winner One For One (Duke Of Marmalade) and Hong Kong winner Hurry Hurry Gain (Press Statement).  Her younger half-sister Okahu Bay (Flying Spur) won the SAJC Fillies Classic (Gr.3, 2500m) for the Jacksons and Stokes in 2015.