Stanley Express (Starspangledbanner) Showdown 750

Starspangledbanner 2YO Wins $1million Showdown on Debut

Well known bloodstock agent Shane McGrath has already had a hand in the purchase of one outstanding juvenile trained by Clinton McDonald this season in Hayasugi and he has also unearthed another with exciting gelding Stanley Express (2g Starspangledbannerx Vivid, by Eavesdropper) landing a sizable betting plunge to win the $1million MRC TBV Showdown (1200m) at Caulfield on Saturday.

Stanley Express was a dual acceptor on Saturday with connections also giving consideration to the Group III SAJC Breeders Stakes at Morphettville, which was ultimately won in a canter by Growing Empire, so electing to chase the cash in Melbourne was a good decision.

With race favourite Bold Bastille scratched at the barrier, Stanley Express found his task a little easier and rose to the challenge for Luke Nolen. He travelled quietly back in the field and charged to the line to win by half a length to the delight of punters.

Stanley Express was an $18 chance at 9am on Saturday, but just 20 minutes before the race was in to $7 and when Bold Bastille was ruled out, he firmed in to $5 by the time they jumped.

"He's done an amazing job this horse as we missed a trial with him," McDonald explained. "But he's a horse that we had a good line on and he's showed us a lot at home.

"The best in the business, Shane McGrath, he found him. He's picked Hayasugi and this horse. I think he paid $100,000 for this and $40,000-odd for Hayasugi."

McDonald is already looking to the future for Stanley Express with a working holiday ion the Queensland winter sunshine on the agenda.

"We'll take him up to Queensland," McDonald said. "We are going to take six-to-eight horses and winter them up there.

"I think he can be a real top-notch three-year-old sprinter. He's got a big frame on him, he moves well and he's got a big motor.

"We'd like to give him a run up there, give him a break in the warmer weather and look at the spring."

Stanley Express was purchased for $110,000 at the Magic Millions National Weanling Sale by Josiah Ma/Shane McGrath from the Emirates Park draft.

Bred and sold by Emirates, Stanley Express is the best of three winners from Vivid, a minor winner by Eavesdropper that traces back to a legendary blue hen with his fifth dam being Eight Carat (GB).

Stanley Express looks to be another bright prospect for Starspangledbanner from a very promising crop of Australian bred juveniles that also includes stakes-winning fillies Herastar and Lincolnshire.