Trainer Phillip Stokes will return from an overseas holiday in time to see in-form mare Held Hostage’s bid for a stakes win at Caulfield.
The five-year-old will line up in the Listed Lord Stakes over 1700m on Saturday looking to notch a winning hat-trick.
Held Hostage claimed her first win for 12 months on the Morphettville Parks circuit last month and followed it up with another victory in Adelaide, this time on the roomier Morphettville track over 2006m on December 5.
Adelaide’s premier trainer, Stokes is holidaying in Japan before returning home on Christmas Day.
He cancelled the mare’s spring campaign when she failed to do as well as expected during a winter spell.
It has paid dividends, with the trainer believing the five-year-old is in career-best form.
“She’s raced at Caulfield before and was a bit unlucky that day so she knows her way around, Stokes said.
“She didn’t winter well and didn’t come up so we tipped her out again.
“Lucky we did because she’s found form again.
“It’s funny how mares can strike form at the same time each year and she’s ready to pull out another big run.”
Stokes said while he hadn’t had the opportunity to study the field for Saturday’s race, Held Hostage should be suited from barrier nine.
He says she likes to roll along on top of the speed and the 1700 metres falls within her perfect distance range of 1600m to 2000m.
Held Hostage ran second to the well-performed Let’s Make Adeal over 2000m at Listed level in Adelaide last May.
“She has got a bit of black type but we’d love to win a stakes race with her being a Fastnet Rock mare,” Stokes said.
Stokes has been on a working holiday visiting his wife’s family in Japan via Hong Kong where he caught up with stable clients during the big international meeting on December 13.
Article from JustHorseRacing.com.au