Cocoa Doll Primed for Lightning Stakes

Trainer Phillip Stokes is confident that talented filly Cocoa Doll will figure as a legitimate chance of success in Saturday’s Listed Lightning Stakes (1050m) at Morphettville Racecourse, should she receive luck from a wide draw.

Trainer Phillip Stokes is pleased with Cocoa Doll ahead of Saturday's Lightning Stakes at Morphettville. Photo: Race Horse Photos Australia

Trainer Phillip Stokes is pleased with Cocoa Doll ahead of Saturday’s Lightning Stakes at Morphettville. Photo: Race Horse Photos Australia

Cocoa Doll has returned to racing in smart form this time and has steadily built to the task through three competitive starts, but her chances of returning to winning form in the Lightning Stakes took a hit when she was allocated the wide and awkward barrier 15, amongst a field that contains sixteen horses.

Stokes is thrilled with the More Than Ready filly’s condition, and told Racing Ahead he is confident she will lay a typically good account for herself in the Lightning Stakes 2016, should she experience the necessary luck in transit.

“She was very unlucky last start – she should have won that day,” Stokes said.

“She’s a nice filly, lightly-race and we’ll just need a bit of luck from the barrier.”

Stokes floated Cocoa Girl to Victoria for a run in the Group 3 Thoroughbred Club Stakes (1200m) in only her second career start last spring, but the filly failed to make anything of an impression and finished at the tail of the nine-strong field.

The leading South Australian trainer believes the key to success with Cocoa Girl is keeping her at sprint distances.

“I took her to Melbourne and I think it was a little bit more than 1400m, but I think she’s more of a sprinting type, so since I’ve kept her to the shorter distances she’s been more consistent,” he said.

“If she gets a bit of luck, it’s all about a bit of black type and it’s quite a good field, so she’s a top four chance.”

Trialling well in the lead-up to her competitive return this year, Cocoa Girl immediately stamped herself as one to watch when savaging the line for a two length win in the Adelaide’s Festival BM64 (1200m) first-up on April 9th.

Over-racing in stages in the Listed Redelva Stakes (1100m) on April 23rd, the filly out of Elusive Wonder recovered well-enough to finish a credible fourth behind Don’t Doubt Mamma, in what was her only other start prior to running third in the Robbie’s Chop Shop Handicap (1000m) on July 9th.

Ladbrokes.com.au is currently offering Cocoa Doll at 2016 Lightning Stakes odds of $15 for success, or $4.50 to finish in the first three.

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