Adelaide sprinter Eclair Choice made it back to back Melbourne wins leading all of the way to take out the Group 2 $300,000 tab.com.au Stakes (1200m) at Flemington today.
The Phillip Stokes trained Eclair Choice dead heated with smart mare Lumosty in the Group 2 $200,000 Dilmah Single Origin Teas Caulfield Sprint (1000m) at Caulfield on October 17 and carried that form to Flemington today.
Winning rider Dom Tourneur got Eclair Choice ($14) out of the barriers quickly from a wide gate and was able to cross to the better part of the track along the inside fence.
Tourneur had the four year old travelling smoothly out in front and when the pressure was applied at the 300m, he found plenty to surge to the line to record a comfortbale three quarters of a length win over $34 outsider Hot Snitzel with stablemate Dothraki ($7.50) battling on for third.
Stokes said that Eclair Choice would now head home for a spell before he prepares him for the Autumn Carnival next year.
“This is his Grand Final today. He has done a mighty job, progressed from Adelaide to a multiple Group 2 winner. I think the Autumn if he takes the next step, maybe the Oakleigh Plate or something like that,” Stokes said.
“He jumped well and made out own luck and he is tough to get past this horse, he is a real bull dog.”
With most of the rider’s looking to get as close to the inside running rail as possible looking for the better going, there ended up being a host of hard luck stories coming out of the race.
Favourite Under The Louvre ($4.60) came out of barrier two and was jammed up on the fence for the majority of the race and had little luck finding clear space over the concluding stages and wound in sixth spot.
The Chris Waller trained Delectation ($5) and John O’Shea’s Generalife ($13) were also caught up behind traffic and had trouble finding clear running and finished fourth and fifth respectively.