Kasie Stanley rides Tudor Sunrise to victory at the Ballina Boxing Day races.
Kasie Stanley rides Tudor Sunrise to victory at the Ballina Boxing Day races.

Shelton, Stanley building on winning partnership

RACING: Grafton’s most successful trainer, John Shelton, could look to Casino jockey Kasie Stanley once again for today’s races on home turf as the pair start to find some form together.

The Northern Rivers product has ridden for Shelton nine times in 2020, but the pair struggled to come together at first.

Stanley has been finding her feet with the Grafton trainer in recent weeks, earning a fourth-place finish in Ballina before a first in Lismore riding Rogue in Saturday’s Austbrokers NCFS Maiden Handicap 1400m, edging out the likes of Owen Glue-trained Korrin and Stephen Randall’s Solitary March.

Shelton’s regular jockeys Luke Rolls and Anthony Allen will not be on hand at the Clarence River Jockey Club and with Grafton’s Ben Looker still trying to find his way back to winning form, the yet to be called upon Stanley could appeal to him in the Gavin Creighton Fertiliser Spreading Class 1 Handicap (1106m) as his four-year-old gelding My Best Seller takes to the track to close proceedings for the day.

Another female jockey in Olivia Pickering will take the reins of Wotsizname for the Cansdell Signs Class 2 Handicap — Heat of the Rising Star (1410m) but Shelton will face some stiff opposition in the Matthew Dunn-trained double of Cubix and Without Risk, as well as Ronald Broomhall’s Za Za Zena, who comes in off the back of two straight wins.

Winning results have been few and far between for Shelton of late, with his last before Saturday’s win in Lismore coming on March 3 at the Clarence River Jockey Club when Jule’s Spirit edged Mosh Vain and Dixie.

In fact, Shelton has found most of his success in 2020 on home turf, with just one of his five wins coming outside of Grafton.

This helps Shelton coming into today’s meeting but he may start to wonder why he can’t find a winner on foreign soil.

With three meetings in Grafton during the next three weeks, the Grafton trainer could have plenty to cheer about in the coming weeks but he will need to ensure he has the right jockeys for the job, otherwise his reign at the top may be under threat.