Eclair Surprise did his prospects of a trip to Singapore next year no harm by winning today’s $150,000 Group 3 Snowhite Maintenance Eclipse Stakes (1800m) at Sandown Hillside.
Trained by Phillip Stokes at Morphettville and ridden to victory by South Australian jockey Dominic Tourneur, Éclair Surprise was the beneficiary of a brilliant rail-hugging ride to win by 1¼ lengths.
Eclair Surprise races in the colours of Thomas Li, the CEO of the Macau Jockey Club. Stokes and connections are keen to see the horse run in the Singapore Cup in May, a race won by Mummify in 2005.
“The horse is in super order. We took him home after he won on Melbourne Cup day and it turned out to be the right decision,” Stokes said.
“He’ll go straight to the paddock and we will now aim him at the Singapore Gold Cup in May. This will help him get his rating up.”
Eclair Surprise was purchased by Lindsay Smith from the draft of Durham Lodge for $65,000. The son of Blackfriars made his way into the care of Stokes who broke him in.
Stokes then sent him on to Peter Moody. The horse won the listed UCI Stakes (1800m) as a three-year-old whilst in the care of Moody before moving onto Robert Smerdon.
Smerdon wasn’t able to get a win out of the galloper from three starts and then Eclair Surprise moved back west to Stokes in South Australia.
Eclair Surprise won the listed Murray Bridge Cup (1600m) and today stretched that winning sequence to three.
Jockey Dominic Tourneur has been in the saddle for each of those wins. He was glowing in his praise for the five-year-old post-race.
“He relaxes really good in his races. He is a good type of character and I liked the way he finished off and really attacked the line.”
“He probably takes of urging, he is a little lazy, but when he switches on, he gives you 100 per cent.”
Tourneur, fresh from being dumped in favour of Craig Williams for the ride on Alcopop in the Group 1 Mackinnon Stakes (2000m) and now the Group 1 Hong Kong Cup (2000m), hopes to stay aboard Eclair Surpise for his Singapore journey.
The Robert Smerdon-trained pair of Tai Tai Tess and Shewan filled the placings behind Eclair Surprise with Ulundi working home into fourth.
Notable winners of the Eclipse Stakes include dual Cox Plate winner Fields of Omagh and Cox Plate placegetter Aqua D’Amore.
The past five winners of the Eclipse Stakes include Like It Is, Eskimo Dan, Bashful Girl, Viking Hero and Rothera.