Stokes stayers about to start autumn campaigns

Trainer Phillip Stokes is banking on residual fitness carrying two of his stayers a long way in brief autumn campaigns. 

Amade (IRE) and Daqiansweet Junior (NZ), who competed successfully during the spring, are close to starting their autumn campaigns in coming weeks. 

The Listed Torney Night Cup (2500m) at Moonee Valley on Friday night will be the starting point for Amade on his way to the Group 2 Adelaide Cup (3200m) at Morphettville next month while Daqiansweet Junior is scheduled to start a three-run campaign next month. 

The Australian Cup Prelude (1800m) on March 9 will lead into the Listed Roy Higgins Quality (2600m) on March 30 with the Group 1 Sydney Cup (3200m) at Randwick on April 13 his target. 

Daqiansweet Junior may not have been successful during the Melbourne Spring Carnival but ran a career high when finishing fifth in the Melbourne Cup (3200m) last November having finished sixth in the race behind Gold Trip 12 months earlier. 

He ran third in last year's Sydney Cup having won the Adelaide Cup at his previous start after Stokes won that race the previous year with Good Idea. 

"He'll have a three-run prep and that will do him," Stokes said. 

"He can then go for a break after the Sydney Cup, and we'll get him ready for another shot at the Melbourne Cup." 

Rising 11-year-old Amade won the Geelong Cup last spring and Stokes bypassed the Melbourne Cup with the gelding, instead concentrating on the Queen Elizabeth Stakes and the Sandown Classic. 

Amade has not raced since running second in the Listed Bagot Handicap (2800m) at Flemington on New Year's Day. 

"Both horses have a lot of residual fitness carrying over from the spring," Stokes said. 

"I'm happy with the way they've come up and I think they are in for good campaigns." 

Amade (IRE) (blinkers) winning at The Valley, picture Racing Photos