The Inter Dominion returned to Albion Park in 1977 when Stanley Rio crossed over the ditch to take the championship at Albion Park.
Foaled in 1972, Stanley Rio (Nevele Golfer-Rio Fleur) was bred by Stan and Fred Barker in Tasmania and was sold as a yearling following the death of Stan Barker in 1973 and purchased by bloodstock agents Bob and John McArdle and they in turn sold Stanley Rio to Wayne Francis and John Noble. Wayne and John then offered a third share in the colt to George Noble.
Ironically Stan Barker’s daughter Kay Rainbird was present at Albion Park that night in 1977 when Stanley Rio took the Grand Final.
The Kiwi’s had three runners in the 1977 final, Stanley Rio, Trusty Scot, and Sole Command, also in the field were the three big name Australian pacers of that era, Pure Steel, Paleface Adios and Don’t Retreat.
Driven perfectly by John Noble who positioned Stanley Rio behind the leader Sporting Son, after a safe get away from the standing start, Noble was able to come away from the fence when Pure Steel dropped off down the back straight.
Stanley Rio went on to win comfortably from Master Findlay who rattled home on the fence with the leader Sporting Son holding down third spot.
Stanley Rio went to stud in New Zealand with moderate success, here in Australia the best of his progeny was The Rio Star who took out the 1985 Victorian Breeders Plate and the New South Wales Sapling Stakes as a two-year-old.
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