Rails run leaves Ford as last man Standing

Jay Ford’s sole but unwavering commitment to staying on the rail has helped Free Standing to score a soft Highway Handicap win.

In the first race at Randwick since Melbourne Cup Day, Ford held the faith in the inside ground despite the track being rated in the heavy range on Saturday.

As his rivals peeled to the centre of the track in search of better going, Ford put his head down and booted the Catherine Rode-trained Free Standing ($8) home to a 2-1/4 length victory over Deny Allcharges ($20).

The $2.90 favourite Isla Tristana ran home late to grab the minor placing after being left a tough task from the second half of the field.

“They were quite happy to get off the rail so I just seized the opportunity to come up the inside,” Ford said.

While the Coffs Harbour-based Rode wasn’t on course to witness it, the victory made it back-to-back wins for Free Standing who scored at Grafton on December 2.

“He’s obviously a very consistent animal,” Ford said.

“He deserved his success here today.”

Ford said the track raced fairly in the opening event but bias could develop as the meeting wore on.

“It’s heavy but it’s racing well,” he said.

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