One of three stakes winners for Morphettville trainer Phillip Stokes in Melbourne this spring, the progressive Éclair Big Bang is being set for a Group 1 The Goodwood 2014 run this coming autumn.
While Stokes has plans to head back to Victoria with some from his stables including his young 2014 Australian Guineas hope Hucklebuck, fellow three-year-old Éclair Big Bang will target an elite level at home next prep.
The Savabeel gelding has won three of their six starts to date in a promising start to what Stokes hopes can turn into a Group 1 winning career for the $280,000 yearling purchase.
A winner on debut in March by a big three and a half lengths, Éclair Big Bang didn’t have their next start until August.
They won again and earned a shot at the Melbourne riches.
Competitive right from the get go there they were third in their interstate debut in September when beaten just a length by winner Charlie Boy in Flemington’s Group 2 Danehill Stakes (1200m).
From there they won the biggest race of their career to date when defeating El Roca, another Australian Guineas hope next year, in the Group 3 Caulfield Guineas Prelude (1400m).
They failed to step up to Group 1 class next start however, Éclair Big Bang running dead last beaten 22 lengths by the Peter Snowden-trained Long John in the Caulfield Guineas (1600m).
Proving they were not a genuine miler, they got caught up in the Guineas and found the going too firm.
Their latest start was another Group 1 test at Flemington on Derby Day where they ran eighth to Chris Waller’s champ Zoustar in the Coolmore Stud Stakes back down over 1200m.
This prep coming Stokes will do things a little differently with Éclair Big Bang who he will keep exclusively to sprint races.
“He’ll be kept to sprinting this time in,” Stokes told AAP this week.
Their major aim will be the $500,000 Group 1 The Goodwood (1200m) in South Australia on May 10, one of the two Adelaide Autumn Racing Carnival majors.
The other is held earlier on April 24, the $400,000 Group 1 Robert Sangster Stakes (1200m) which is only for fillies and mares.
As a lead-up to The Goodwood Stokes plans to run Éclair Big Bang in the $200,000 Group 2 Euclase Classic (1200m), registered as the Centrebet Classic, at the track on May 3.
That will also be a likely aim for Stokes’ Magnus three-year-old Lucky Symbol who is out for their third career win from as many starts in either Adelaide or Melbourne this Saturday.
Stay tuned to Races.com.au for all the upcoming autumn racing news.
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