Elated with the first-up victory of Mr Quickie at Flemington, trainer Phillip Stokes’ thoughts quickly turned to home.
A bushfire southeast of Melbourne forced Stokes to move a number of his horses on Friday night from his farm at Garfield.
“It’s OK at the moment but I’ll be getting back there very quickly,” he said.
“We are feeling for Jamie Bayliss and his family. They had to evacuate last night and they don’t know if they’ve got a house.
“He was at the track this morning; full credit to him.”
Stokes said he moved 30 horses, 10 from his own property and another 20 he has with Bayliss.
Mr Quickie extended his winning sequence to five in the Seppelts Wines Plate, his first start for Stokes.
The gelding was previously prepared by Darren Weir who was last month disqualified for four years for possession of electrical devices known as jiggers.
Ridden by Ben Allen, Mr Quickie ($14) scored by a short-half-head over $3.20 favourite Age Of Chivalry with Brilliant Choice ($3.80) a short-head away third.
Stokes has May’s Group One South Australian Derby at Morphettville as a target for Mr Quickie.
“I’m still learning my way with the horse but he’d been doing everything well at home,” Stokes said.
“If he’d run in the top five we would have been happy but for a horse that’s going to get over 2000 metres plus, that’s a great return.”
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