Phillip Stokes has had little opportunity to celebrate Mr Quickie’s Group One Queensland Derby win, flying home to Melbourne to prepare for a big week ahead.
It was not long before Stokes was back in the winners’ circle with Sizzlefly in the Mornington Nissan Handicap (1000m) at Mornington on Monday.
Stokes was at Eagle Farm on Saturday to watch Mr Quickie survive a protest to claim the Derby, but left the celebrations to the owners who include former champion trainer Peter Moody.
“I’ve got a pretty busy week coming up so I flew home on Saturday night, but I’m absolutely thrilled about it,” Stokes said.
Stokes said Mr Quickie had pulled up well from his Derby success and would have a four-week spell in Queensland to take advantage of the warmer weather before connections mapped out a spring program.
Stokes hopes Sizzefly will measure up to spring company but will need to weigh up how far he presses on into winter with the filly.
Sizzlefly is unbeaten having won on debut at Morphettville in January before strolling to an impressive 2-1/4 length win on Monday.
Stokes said he was not concerned by the heavy conditions posted at Mornington on Monday.
“She’s shown us plenty at home,” he said.
“She’s been working with some of our better horses and has never lost a track gallop.
“We thought the soft track would be OK as she had been working on it at the Pakenham track in recent times which has been soft.
“I think she’s a nice filly that should measure up to better races but we’ll see how she pulls up.
“There’s no rush. I’ll have a think about whether we go one more time and give her a break, or give her a break now.”
Compounding Stokes’ problems with where to place Sizzlefly is a growing number of rising three-year-olds he is trying to separate for upcoming assignments.
“But I’ve got a really nice team of horses coming through,” he said.