After Arran Bay finished second in Benchmark 64 event at Sandown on Monday, Phillip Stokes was lamenting an Easter Holiday weekend where his stable to that point had gone without a winner.
A string of placings left him frustrated that things could have turned out a whole lot better.
But while the horses racing in lower grades didn’t quite deliver, the return of a stable favourite in Instant Celebrity at Morphettville on Saturday could bring about a brighter moment.
When nominations close on Tuesday for the Adelaide meeting this weekend, the 2021 Robert Sangster Stakes (1200m) winner will appear among the entries for the Listed RN Irwin Stakes at weight-for-age over 1100 metres, after recovery from a knee operation that has kept the four-year-old mare off the on-track scene.
“I’m looking forward to Instant Celebrity returning,” Stokes said.
“She’s coming off knee surgery and all the indications are that she’s come back good.
“Race day pressure will be the difference though.”
Instant Celebrity kicked off her late three-year-old campaign in the Listed Redelva Stakes (1100m) on the same day last year when finishing a creditable fourth behind Muntaseera.
“She went straight into the Sangster after that and she’ll do the same this time,” Stokes added.
In 12 starts, Instant Celebrity has notched five wins and three placings, among them that Group 1 win.
Placing in a barrier trial at Traralgon on 5 April, Instant Celebrity finished second with a pleasing effort that has Stokes maintaining a glint in his eye regarding her prospects.
“All is positive so far and if she goes well after that we’ll try for The Goodwood as well,” he said.
Instant Celebrity is rated a $13 chance for the Sangster Stakes on 7 May and at $17 for Group 1 The Goodwood (1200m) a fortnight later.