Instant Celebrity a hit in Thousand Guineas Prelude

Trainer Phillip Stokes and jockey Craig Williams have combined again to claim the $250,000 Group 2 Thousand Guineas Prelude (1400m) at Caulfield with Instant Celebrity. 

The combination teamed in 2015 to capture the race with Miss Gunpowder before going their separate ways in the Group 1 Thousand Guineas (1600m) later in the spring. 

But there will be no parting of the ways this year in the $1 million Group One Thousand Guineas on October 10. 

Williams has committed himself to riding the filly who landed her fourth win from as many starts with an impressive victory on Saturday. 

“In fairness to Miss Gunpowder, it was a lovely filly and mare for myself, but she wasn’t good enough (for a Thousand Guineas),” Williams said. 

“This filly is.” 

Instant Celebrity and Craig Williams, picture Racing Photos

Circling the field, Instant Celebrity, the $2.80 favourite, raced to a length win from Personal ($15) with Rock My Wand ($26) a head away third. 

Instant Celebrity firmed from $5 to $3.50 favourite with TAB for the Thousand Guineas. 

Williams has no doubt the filly will rise to the challenge of the 1600m of the Thousand Guineas. 

“Going to the gates you could feel that she’s got a lot of maturing to do,” Williams said. 

“I think this trip away will really make her grow up from the normal everyday routine environment. 

“I could feel that going to the gates with her. 

“She held the bridle nicely and when the gates opened she really relaxed. 

“I remember when I rode Miss Finland, when you ask them to go that these types of quality horses can take off. 

“She was really good, soft and smooth. What I asked her to do today, the normal, average horses can’t do. 

“She’s really exciting.” 

Stokes paid credit to his team in Adelaide where Instant Celebrity had won her previous three starts. 

“She’s come over here in excellent condition,” Stokes said. 

“She’s got the confidence and she’s a real class act.” 

“I don't think (the mile) will be a big problem. She’s a lovely, big, scopey filly, I think she’ll even get further in time.” 

Instant Celebrity is by Not A Single Doubt from the Starcraft (NZ) mare Celebrity Girl and has collected $267,200 in prize money for owners Mr T J Robertson, Mrs E A Robertson.