Morphettville trainer Phillip Stokes is hoping he is in Singapore this time next year with Eclair Surprise after the five year old took out the Group 3 $150,000 Snowhite Maintenance Eclipse Stakes (1800m) at Sportingbet Sandown Park today.
Eclair Surprise made it three wins this Spring with a rails hugging ride from jockey Dom Tourneur following a win at Murray Bridge and a narrow win in the Listed $150,000 Diamond Jubilee Plate (1800m) at Flemington on Melbourne Cup Day.
“The horse is in super order. We took him home after he raced on Tuesday and it turned out to be the right decision,” Stokes said.
The race panned out the way Stokes thought it would with Star Of Giselle setting a solid pace which suited Eclair Surprise’s strong finish.
“Was very happy the way it transpired, Dom knows the horse, rode him for luck again and he got it,” Stokes said.
“He will go straight to the paddock now and try get him to the Singapore Cup, that’s our main aim.”
Eclair Surprise is owned in Hong Kong and Strokes is hoping that the five year old will be able to qualify for the Group 1 SGD$1.35m Longines Singapore Gold Cup in November next year.
“This will help him a lot and get his rating up. He will have to get over a hundred to get into it and he is going in the right direction.”
Tourneur gave Eclair Surprise ($6.50) a quiet run off the pace and slipped up along the inside to grab the lead close to line to hold out Tai Tai Tess ($16) by one and a quarter lengths with the hard finishing Shewan ($17) in third spot.
Favourite Star Of Giselle ($4.80) set a good pace but faded in the straight to wind up in eighth spot, almost four lengths from the winner.