Stokes mare chases second Sangster win

Retirement has been held off with Instant Celebrity chasing a second Robert Sangster Stakes win

INSTANT CELEBRITY. Picture: Racing Photos

Instant Celebrity will chase back-to-back Robert Sangster Stakes success with her trainer believing she is in better order the second time around. 

The Phillip Stokes-trained mare won the Group 1 race over 1200m at Morphettville last year under a masterful ride from Craig Williams. 

This year, coming off knee surgery after an indifferent spring campaign, Stokes said Instant Celebrity was in top shape for Saturday's contest. 

Instant Celebrity went down narrowly behind Bella Vella in the Group 3 RN Irwin Stakes (1100m) at Morphettville on April 23 when resuming and had trained on well since. 

"We were worried first-up, worried that the pain was still in her head and whether she would let down," Stokes said. 

"If she hadn't, I probably would have retired her, but she still wants to do it, so that's pleasing. 

"I thought the first-up run was really good, probably a bit better than last year before her win in the Sangster and she's trained on nicely, however she's got a bit of a sticky barrier. 

"I don't know how the track is going to play as they've had a bit of rain here." 

Instant Celebrity has drawn barrier 12 in Saturday's Group 1 contest that has been robbed by the scratching of Gimme Par reducing the field to 15. 

But Stokes said it was a good race, an even race. 

"If you draw a line through her, Bella Vella, Brooklyn Hustle and a couple of others, there's not much between them," Stokes said. 

"It could all come down to a bit of luck in running. 

"We're happy with where we stand, we've had no setbacks, so we're looking forward to Saturday." 

Instant Celebrity is currently rated a $13 chance with TAB to repeat last year's victory. 

September Run heads the market at $4.80 ahead of Bella Nipotina ($6) and Away Game ($8). 


Racing and Sports