Former Kiwi galloper Daqiansweet Junior continued his good run of form for Pakenham trainer Phillip Stokes, recording his third win in succession when getting up late to score in the Take It To The Neds Level Handicap (2000m) at Caulfield on Saturday.
The progressive staying four-year-old was originally trained in New Zealand by Murray Baker and Andrew Forsman, for whom he was a multiple winner and Group Three placed.
Purchased privately by OTI Racing on the recommendation of bloodstock agent Phill Cataldo, Daqiansweet Junior is working through the grades nicely under Stokes care, with his Caulfield victory following wins at Pakenham and Moonee Valley.
“It was a super win, he’s going to get further this horse,” Stokes said, with the son of Sweet Orange prevailing narrowly from another former Kiwi in Nerve Not Verve, with less than a length between the first eight.
“There wasn’t much between them, Lyrical Lad (stablemate) ran fourth or fifth and the team at home has done a terrific job with this horse.
“Full credit to OTI, they obviously looked at his form and Murray Baker and Andrew Forsman must have had a good opinion of the horse to run him in those good races in New Zealand. They’ve bought smartly and he’s racing very well.”
In a day of jockey merry-go-rounds, Daniel Moor was the late recipient of the ride, replacing Damien Oliver who injured his foot in a barrier incident and was himself a late call-up after 12 Victorian jockeys were stood down on Saturday morning after being exposed to a COVID positive at Chris Caserta’s funeral.
“I chased the ride from about 7.30 this morning when I saw the rider alterations - when they go with the goat (D Oliver) you can’t really complain and when Damien hurt himself, I was straight after Phillip and asked for the ride,” Moor said.
“Phillip has a great knack of keeping these horses winning and when I saw the ride come up I thought it was too good to slide.
“The horse seems to do it pretty casually, he’s a beautiful horse to ride, an absolute gentleman, he rested the whole way and didn’t touch the bridle which was great.”
Daqiansweet Junior, a son of the former Highview Stud stallion Sweet Orange, has now won five of his 14 starts and A$143,386 and was bred by Gillovic Bloodstock.