Phillip Stokes was one of the first trainers to open a stable complex at Pakenham and he has seen an increase in numbers over the past three years. But one thing that has not been lost on the horseman is his endeavour to try and win his hometown Cup.
Phillip Stokes is looking for a hometown win in the Pakenham Cup, picture Racing Photos
Before transferring the majority of his horses to Pakenham, Stokes trained at Morphettville and earlier in the year won the Adelaide Cup at that track with Good Idea. That same horse will attempt to give Stokes a second ‘hometown Cup’ this year when he contests the Listed Pakenham Cup (2500m) on Saturday.
“I would love to win our hometown Cup,” Stokes said.
Since winning the Group 2 Adelaide Cup (3200m) in March, Good Idea has had seven starts and while not being successful, he has raced consistently. Included in those performances was a seventh-place finish in the Group 1 Sydney Cup, while he has finished third on three occasions, the latest in the Macca’s Run (2800m) on Melbourne Cup Day behind Team Captain (Ire), an opponent on Saturday.
While comfortably beaten by Team Captain (Ire) on that occasion, there is a 3kg swing in the weights in Good Idea’s favour. And Stokes said Good Idea could not build momentum at a vital stage at Flemington.
“I thought the Flemington run was good,” Stokes said. “He had a big weight but he struggled to build his momentum and when he wanted to go, he struggled under the weight a bit.
“We’ve just kept him ticking over towards this. We want to run him in the Adelaide Cup again and this looks like a nice race. I would like it a bit further, but it’s been a while between runs and I think we’ve got him fresh enough to show a turn of foot.
“He’s got a good gate to put him in the first three or four, take bad luck out of it, and then he can get rolling when the time’s ready.”