Samara Dancer has been cleared to contest the 2016 Ladbrokes Blue Diamond Stakes and trainer Phillip Stokes admits that the talented filly is in better shape than him after he was hospitalized yesterday morning.
Stokes was unloading a young filly from a float at the Gawler barrier trials yesterday when he was kicked on two occasions in the chest and was left with two broken ribs and a concussion.
The tough trainer remained in hospital overnight for observation, but he is hopeful that he will be released this morning and he is confident that he will be at Caulfield on Saturday to watch Samara Dancer run in the 2016 Ladbrokes Blue Diamond Stakes.
“I’m a little bit groggy, but on the improve,” Stokes told Racing Ahead from his hospital bed.
“I’ve got a couple of broken ribs and a little bit of bleeding internally, which they have got on top of.
“They will do another scan this morning, but they think that it is subsidising.
“I feel on my face and have a few battle scars to show off on Saturday.
“I thought I was going alright until I tried to get up.
“This is the first time that I have had broken ribs, but I’ve had a few broken bones along the way.
“We will get through it and make sure that I am there on Saturday.
“You will see me trackside.”
Samara Dancer was found with blood in one of her nostrils following her impressive win in the Group 2 Ladbrokes Blue Diamond Fillies Prelude (1100m) at Caulfield on February 13 and she was required to gallop in front of stewards before being cleared to contest the Ladbrokes Blue Diamond Stakes.
Stokes confirmed that Samara Dancer had done just that this morning and he is happy with the daughter of Hinchinbrook ahead of the Ladbrokes Blue Diamond Stakes, but he admits that she will need to improve a couple of lengths to take out the Group 1 event.
“She has done everything right,” Stokes said.
“She galloped over 1000 metres with a mate and the work was good.
“The fitness is good and all she has to do now is travel back and bring her a-game.
“I had her pretty fit, but there is still a couple of lengths there and obviously travelling for the first time and having a look at the track for the first time counts a little bit more.
“She did step out a bit slow the other day, which I don’t think she will do next time out and she has to improve a couple of lengths to be competitive.
“They are all very good horses, but just from the naked eye there is not a lot between them.”
Samara Dancer is currently available at 2016 Ladbrokes Blue Diamond Stakes odds of $9 and she is on the fourth line of betting behind Extreme Choice ($2.80), Flying Artie ($3.50) and Concealer ($7).