Daqiansweet Junior (left) edges out In A Twinkling (Image: Racing Photos)
Phillip Stokes was thinking of some interstate staying features for his best stayers after his former Kiwi galloper Daiqiansweet Junior made it four wins on end at The Valley on Saturday.
After the gelded son of Sweet Orange lunged to narrowly nose out In A Twinkling over 2500 metres, Stokes said Tasmanian staying features, starting with the $250,000 G3 Ladbrokes Hobart Cup (2400m) on February 13, was next for the still-improving four-year-old.
Stokes confirmed also that his fourth-placegetter Good Idea was on the path to defend his G2 Adelaide Cup (3200m) victory of last year.
Daqiansweet Junior ($2.45 favourite) looked to have the race in his keeping as Jamie Kah took him to the outside of In A Twinkling ($7) as they turned for home but had to pull out all stops to secure a narrow victory with Starcaster ($5.50) three and a half lengths away in third.
WATCH: Daqiansweet Junior wins at The Valley
"He knows where the post is and Jamie rode him beautifully," Stokes said after the race.
"Full credit to the team at Pakenham, they’ve done a fantastic job with him, he gets a gallop on the good surface at Pakenham and then does all his training at the farm.
"He’s strong and the tempo suited and he gets his ticket to Tasmania (Hobart Cup). I haven’t had a runner there so I’ll need to do a bit of research but I’ll work that out."
Kah said: "He’s a typical stayer. He conserved his energy on this hot day and gave me a lovely ride.
"The race shaped out well for him but I still think I probably got to the front a bit too soon. If I had it over again I’d probably wait another couple of metres on him.
"It was still a really good win but now I’ve learned a bit more about him I’d probably ride him a bit differently."
Good Idea ($4.80) finished fourth, some seven lengths from the winner, but Stokes said the firm track was against him.
"The track is riding a little bit firm and it wasn’t run to suit," he said. "They backed off down the side but his goal is the Adelaide Cup so we’ll get him ready for that."