Owner Brett Dixon was determined to get injured Adelaide trainer Phillip Stokes to Melbourne to watch his three Group One runners, even if it meant hiring a low-flying plane.
Stokes was told not to fly after suffering two broken ribs when he was kicked by a horse he was unloading from a float at a Gawler barrier trial on Monday.
All sorts of ideas were discussed on Friday morning to get Stokes from his Morphettville stables to Caulfield.
“We were talking about hiring planes and flying them at low level and all that sort of thing,” Dixon told AAP.
“In the end I said to him `well mate, let’s just get in the car and drive.”
There was no dream result from having runners in all three Group One races on Saturday.
Samara Dancer went into the feature Blue Diamond Stakes as third favourite in what was only her third start but finished in 14th place.
Futurity Stakes second favourite Hucklebuck was eighth and outside chance Eclair Choice ended 16th in the Oakleigh Plate.
“We haven’t had the result we wanted for whatever reason but we’re happy we got them there on the day,” Stokes told AAP.
“They’ll all be going home, having a freshen up and we’ll reassess.”
Stokes said Hucklebuck pulled up stressed.
“Sometimes when he gets in front, he just doesn’t seem to switch off, so we’ll have a think about him but I probably won’t push on to Sydney on the back of that.”
South Australian jockey Dom Tourneur, who rode for Stokes in all three Group One races, said Samara Dancer found interference but would be better for the experience.
“She got in a bit of a scrimmage early and got quite tightened up which just affected her mentally from there.”
Part-owner Dixon said the filly will go to the paddock until the spring so she can grow.
The Darwin Turf Club chairman said Stokes had to be at Caulfield.
“He’s a trainer that’s got 30 horses in work. So if you do the maths, 10 per cent of his stable are running in Group Ones today, which I don’t think would have been achieved any other time.”