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The Phillip Stokes-trained Sansom will try to complete an unbeaten winter campaign at Flemington

The Phillip Stokes-trained Sansom will try to complete an unbeaten winter campaign when he runs for the first time as a three-year-old at Flemington.

Sansom was beaten in his first two starts as a juvenile last summer but since returning from a spell has kept stepping up to put together three-straight wins.

After two victories on the synthetic track at Pakenham, Sansom went to metropolitan grade and dominated a late-season 1300m handicap for two-year-olds at Sandown on a heavy track late last month, winning by 1-3/4 lengths.

Stokes had gone into the Sandown race thinking he would send the gelding for a break afterwards, but changed his mind following the victory and has pressed on to Saturday’s VRC Member Helen Saffin Handicap (1400m) for three-year-olds.

“There was no reason to put him out. He pulled up well and he’s sound,” Stokes said.

“He’s been going through his grades nicely.

“He goes to the 1400-metre benchmark 70. He’s got his share of weight, and then he will have a little break.

“But he’s a really nice horse.”

Sansom has 60.5kg and has to give weight to all his rivals who include Heirborn who won a maiden at Bendigo on debut.

Heirborn was the $3.70 favourite on Thursday ahead of Maozi ($4.20), Conqueror ($5.50) and Sansom ($8).

Stokes could look to a late spring campaign for Sansom.

“He doesn’t have to go out for a long time,” he said.

While Stokes is looking to give Sansom a rest, promising stablemate Jumbo Ozaki is just beginning his preparation and is the $2.80 favourite to make a winning return in the VRC Member Thomas Dandis Handicap (1200m).

Stokes believes the lightly raced four-year-old gelding has returned bigger and stronger.

 
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