Halvorsen returns to scale after winning the 2020 Standish Handicap (Image: Racing Photos)
The Robbie Griffiths-trained Halvorsen extended his perfect record down the Flemington straight this season to three with a dominant display in the $160,000 Group 3 Standish Handicap (1200m) on New Year’s Day.
Andrew Mallyon, who relocated to Queensland earlier this season, flew back to ride Halvorsen as per his first up victory during 2019 Melbourne Cup week.
“I was a bit flat that I wasn’t able to ride him last start because I had commitments in Queensland,” Mallyon said.
“But I’m really thankful to connections to be able to maintain the ride."
Mallyon rode a confident race aboard Halvorsen ($3.30), trailing two rivals down the inside rail before moving into the clear over the final 200 metres to win by 1.25 lengths with Bold Star ($3 favourite) down the outside rail as runner-up.
WATCH: Halvorsen win the Standish
“I was really happy when the field split because I was worried that from barrier one, that if they all came down to the fence or stayed in a bunch down the middle, that it would be harder to come down the outside of runners,” Mallyon said.
“I was never concerned at all, it couldn’t have worked out better.
“He’s a progressive sprinter, we still haven’t reached the bottom of him as he’s still got a few quirks that we’re yet to iron out. The best is still to come from him.
“He’s got a great turn of foot even with the ear muffs on, wait until they come off, that’s the scary part.”
Griffiths wasn’t trackside to view Halvorsen’s Standish victory, he was instead inspecting yearlings in Queensland ahead of the Magic Millions Gold Coast sale.
Stable representative Dom Healy said Halvorsen may have his next start in the $140,000 Listed Kensington Stakes (1000m) at Flemington on January 18 or be spelled ahead of a tilt for the Group 1 Goodwood (1200m) at Morphettville on May 16.