Three-year-old gelding Eclair Choice is nominated for races in both Melbourne and Adelaide this Saturday but it will be the barrier draws on Wednesday morning that clinch the horse’s fate either way.
Eclair Choice has finished runner-up in three consecutive benchmark 70s at Morphettville but could get the chance to run in a benchmark 78 worth $80,000 at Moonee Valley this Saturday.
He is also entered in another $35,000 BM70 at Morphettville should the barrier draw in the Moonee Valley not go his way. The make-up of each respective field will determine where trainer Phillip Stokes runs the horse on Saturday.
“Obviously Moonee Valley (is the preference) because it’s worth $80,000,” Stokes told Racing Victoria.
“We’ll definitely be accepting there, but we’ll also be accepting at Morphettville. We’ll just see barriers and the strength of both races will determine which way we go.”
The three-year-old is a consistent performer for Stokes, finishing in the first three in six of his seven career starts. Despite running consistently, Eclair Choice has found it hard to get across the line first in his last four starts.
“He’s just had one of those campaigns,” Stokes said.
“He goes half-alright, but he carries big weights over here and he’s just kept running into a better one.
“I do think he’s got a Melbourne win in him, though.”
Stokes had a successful spring campaign in Melbourne. He was last seen saddling three runners on Emirates Stakes Day – all of which won – including Hucklebuck who took out the feature event worth $1 million after backing up from a win in the Group 3 Yellowglen Stakes (1400m) one week earlier.
All of these wins have contributed to the trainer’s winning streak that has seen him claim 12 wins from his last 28 starts.
“I don’t know how much longer we can keep that sort of form going, but they’re racing well and we’re placing them right,” Stokes said of his team.
Should he looks at maintaining his Melbourne winning streak by accepting Eclair in the BM78 at Moonee Valley, the horse will take on rivals the likes of Chris Waller’s Bascule and Rough Justice, who will carry the top weight of 60kg.
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