Trainer Phillip Stokes is confident that three-year-old Cocoa Doll was be right in the finish of the Lightning Stakes (1050m), should the talented filly receive luck in running at Morphettville Racecourse on Saturday.
Cocoa Doll has returned to racing in typically smart form this season, but her chances of maiden black type success in the Lightning Stakes 2016 took a blow on Wednesday when she was allocated the wide and awkward barrier 15, in a field containing sixteen runners.
Cocoa Doll was luckless in transit before finishing a credible third in the Robbie’s Chop Shop Handicap (1000m) at Morphettville Parks last time out on July 9th, and Stokes believes she is a genuine chance this weekend should she find a good position in running.
“She was very unlucky last start – she should have won that day,” Stokes told Racing Ahead.
“She’s a nice filly, lightly-race and we’ll just need a bit of luck from the barrier.”
Cocoa Doll immediately stamped herself as a filly to follow when debuting to racing for success in the Akeed Mofeed @ Goldin Farms Maiden (1000m) in September last year, but failed to make anything of an impact or beat a running home in the Group 3 Thoroughbred Club Stakes (1200m) at Flemington second-up, and was subsequently returned to the paddock.
Stokes believes the key to the filly’s success lies in the distance of her races, and is confident the conditions of the 2016 Lightning Stakes will prove ideal.
“I took her to Melbourne and I think it was a little bit more than 1400m, but I think she’s more of a sprinting type, so since I’ve kept her to the shorter distances she’s been more consistent,” Stokes said.
“If she gets a bit of luck, it’s all about a bit of black type and it’s quite a good field, so she’s a top four chance.”
Trialling well in the lead-up to her return this year, the More Than Ready filly charged home to win the Adelaide’s Festival BM64 (1200m) first-up on April 9th; progressing to fourth in the Listed Redelva Stakes (1100m) on April 23rd, in what was her only other start prior to her most-recent third.
Ladbrokes Australia is currently offering Cocoa Doll at 2016 Lightning Stakes odds of $16.