Dalziel Set To Win With Standoff

The $1 million Magic Millions Fillies & Mares (1300m) race hasn’t even been run, but already Grant Dalziel feels like a winner of sorts.

For the Cranbourne-based horseman, just being on the Gold Coast for this week’s Magic Millions carnival is a victory in itself.

It’s a case of third-time lucky for Dalziel, who trains in partnership with son Peter, as the pair will saddle up Standoff for the million-dollar race on the Gold Coast on Saturday.

The training duo has aimed the four-year-old mare at the feature race for the past two years, but COVID had other ideas.

“With COVID I got stopped at the Tarcutta Hotel halfway to Sydney, and Racing Queensland rang me and said, ‘It’s all off’, so I went home with my tail between my legs,” Grant Dalziel said of last year’s attempt.

“The first year (2020) we never left home due to COVID!”

Standoff has been racing well, albeit without winning, and will be looking to improve off a last-start outing at Pakenham in early December.

Now safely on the Gold Coast, Dalziel couldn’t be happier with the way his mare has presented in the Sunshine State.

“She’s travelled up well, she seems to get around that way, better than she does Melbourne way,” he said.

“She worked on the inside grass this morning and looked fantastic, so all is good.”

Standoff is the rank outsider in the competitive field, currently a $101 chance with Sportsbet, but Dalziel says those odds could be deceiving, and Standoff shouldn’t be written off.

“If she’s at her very best she’s good enough to be right there,” he said with an air of confidence.

“The two races she’s won, and she should’ve won some others including the greys race on Cup Day.

“She can run time. We’re here and we’ll see how we go.”

The Dalziels are keeping a close eye on the Magic Millions sales, and plan to return to Victoria with more luggage than they departed with.

“It’s all happening up here, the sales and the races, it’s like Melbourne Cup Week in Melbourne,” Dalziel said.

“It’s not as humid as it normally is!”

– racing.com

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