Adelaide filly Samara Dancer hits the road again to begin a campaign her trainer Phillip Stokes hopes will lead to a Group One victory.
Samara Dancer runs in the Group Two Danehill Stakes at Flemington on Saturday when she will be joined by stablemate Captain Duffy who runs in the Listed Pin & Win Stakes.
The pair are no strangers to travelling between Melbourne and Adelaide.
Samara Dancer won the fillies division of the Blue Diamond Prelude at Caulfield before finishing down the track as third favourite in the Blue Diamond won by Extreme Choice two weeks later.
Stokes said travelling the filly back to Adelaide following the Prelude victory had taken a toll on Samara Dancer by the time of the Group One race.
“She was cooked on the day,” Stokes said.
While he didn’t win his Melbourne debut in the Listed Taj Rossi Final, Captain Duffy was competitive and has been working well for his return.
Stokes has bigger carnival plans for the pair later in the spring.
Samara Dancer is on a path to the Thousand Guineas while Stokes hopes to get Captain Duffy through to the Victoria Derby.
Stokes said Samara Dancer only had to gallop well at Morphettville on Tuesday to confirm a start on Saturday.
The filly has undergone a slow build-up which has included two “soft trials” in preparation for her return.
“We’ve been hindered with wet tracks over here and we’ve been treading water a bit,” Stokes said.
“She’s had two trials and they’ve been soft trials because of the conditions.
“We’ll kick off in this and then it’s two weeks to the Thousand Guineas Prelude and then hopefully on to the Thousand Guineas.”
Captain Duffy’s first big spring target is the Caulfield Classic on October 15 on his way to the Derby.
“That’s the dream,” Stokes said.
Dom Tourneur will partner both gallopers at Flemington.