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Phillip Stokes expects a slight step up in distance to suit stakes-placed sprinter Sansom

Trainer Phillip Stokes expects a slight step up in distance to suit stakes-placed sprinter Sansom when he runs second-up at Caulfield with added fitness on his side.

Stokes has runners nominated in five of the nine Caulfield races on Saturday with Sansom aiming to go one better in the 1100m benchmark-84 handicap after finishing second to Iconic Star over 1000m at The Valley first-up on June 13.

“I was very happy with his return under a big weight (60kg),” Stokes said.

“He just found it a bit sharp so that little bit further will suit and he has run well at Caulfield before.

“He’s a very consistent horse and I’m very happy with him. He only had the one jump-out going into his first-up run and was always going to take good benefit out of it.”

Sansom has built a handy record with six wins from 12 starts and he was runner-up in the Group Three Zeditave Stakes (1200m) at Caulfield against his own age in March.

Stokes believes 1200m is the gelding’s best distance at the moment and while he is only planning a light winter campaign for him, he hopes in future he can prove effective out to 1400m or 1600m to open up options.

“If I could just get him over a bit longer trip in time I think he could be a really handy horse,” the trainer said.

“It might not be this preparation but maybe next preparation.”

Stokes is planning to test unraced colt Savannah Cloud in town on debut in Saturday’s 1100m handicap for two-year-olds if he gains a start.

“We think he’s a nice horse,” he said.

“He’s had a couple of jump-outs and he’s shown that he’s got good ability. I’m not scared to step him out on a Saturday.

“He’s definitely one for the future but I think he’ll run well.”

He expects Selica to be better suited over 1440m in a race for three-year-olds after the filly resumed from a let-up with a midfield finish over 1200m at The Valley last start.

“I thought she was a bit unlucky the other day and she should have finished closer,” he said.

Stokes would like to give Brazen Brando his chance in Saturday’s 1000m handicap for three-year-olds after a first-up win at Pakenham while All Too Hiuying is a likely acceptor in the 2000m handicap but the trainer will assess the strength of the field before deciding on a start.

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