Outsider Red Alto has scored a fighting local victory, defying Melbourne Cup hopefuls to win the Bendigo Cup.
Potential Cup runners Dal Harraild, Sir Charles Road and Lord Fandango were held at bay in the 2400m race by the Brent Stanley-trained stayer.
Trained at nearby Sutton Grange, Red Alto ($71) fought off Dal Harraild ($5.50) by a half-neck with Sir Charles Road ($12) a long-head away third.
“He’s performed against these kind of horses before,” Stanly told broadcaster Racing.com.
“He ran fourth in a Victoria Derby, sixth in a Queensland Derby but he’s just needed everything to go right at the end of a long preparation.
“He gave us a big thrill earlier in the preparation winning that race at Randwick against all the Waller horses so he’s got the ability and just needed things to go right.”
Stanley said the connections of Red Alto were concerned heading into Wednesday’s race after unplaced runs in the Benalla and Hamilton Cups at his past two starts.
“Last start he got his tongue over the bit, so the tongue tie went on today,” Stanley said.
“He was able to breathe and he got to the line.”
The victory for jockey Michael Walker was his second Bendigo Cup success having won on The Offer for Gai Waterhouse in 2015.