Four on the trot for Junior

Daqiansweet Junior (NZ) has booked a ticket to the Tasmanian Summer Racing Carnival with his fourth straight victory on Saturday. The Phillip Stokes-trained galloper relished the rise in journey when a narrow winner of the Handicap (2500m) at The Valley. 

Saturday’s victory followed previous wins at Pakenham, The Valley and Caulfield, and now the Group 3 Hobart Cup (2400m) on February 13 is in Stokes’ sights. 

Sent out the $2.45 favourite under Jamie Kah, Daqiansweet Junior (NZ) scored a half-head victory from In A Twinkling ($7), with $5.50 chance Starcaster (GB) a further 3-½ lengths away third. 

Daqiansweet Junior (NZ) was having his sixth start for Stokes on Saturday after started his career in New Zealand with Murray Baker & Andrew Forsman. The trainer said the gelding, by Sweet Orange, knows where the post is with all his victories since joining his yard being registered by a narrow margin. 

“Full credit to the team at Pakenham, they’ve done a fantastic job with him,” Stokes said. “He gets a gallop on the good surface at Pakenham and then does all his training at the farm. 

“He’s strong and the tempo suited, and he gets his ticket to Tasmania now. I haven’t had a runner there before, so I’ll need to do a bit of research, but I’ll work that out.” 

Kah said Daqiansweet Junior (NZ) was a true stayer that was able to conserve his energy on a hot day. 

“The race shaped out well for him, but I still think I probably got to the front a bit too soon,” Kah said. “If I had it over again, I’d probably wait another couple of metres on him, but it was still a really good win and now I’ve learned a bit more about him I’d probably ride him a bit differently.”