Stokes pair thriving ahead of Goodwood

Phillip Stokes will chase a second Group 1 sprint in Adelaide when Climbing Star and Stretan Angel contest The Goodwood.

CLIMBING STAR. Picture: Racing Photos

Since Phillip Stokes began training Climbing Star as a sprinter, the transformation in the mare has been astonishing. 

Stokes' son Tommy has been overseeing the final two weeks of Climbing Star's, and stablemate Stretan Angel's, preparation for The Goodwood, a Group 1 sprint over 1200m at Morphettville on Saturday. 

Climbing Star and Stretan Angel are part of a 17-horse strong field and have drawn barriers 13 and seven respectively. 

Stokes said his father had decided to train Climbing Star purely as a sprinter and the mare won first-up in Adelaide in March before finishing second at Morphettville when dropped in distance on April 13. 

Climbing Star then overcame a poor start to land the Group 1 Robert Sangster Stakes (1200m) at Morphettville on April 27 to book a start to Adelaide's feature sprint on Saturday. 

Stokes has had Climbing Star at the Adelaide stable since the Irwin Stakes placing on April 13 and cannot believe how much improvement the mare has made. 

"Week-by-week she has thrived," Stokes said. 

"She is getting better and her trackwork suggests that as well. She's smashing her feed, and I couldn't have a horse in better order. 

"She had a quiet week after the Sangster to keep r fresh, but she's jumping out of her skin, and I had to give her a decent gallop on Saturday morning just because she's feeling so well. 

"She's got so much energy to let loose with." 

While confident Climbing Star will acquit herself well against the males in the set-weight and penalties affair, Stokes is looking for an improved showing from Stretan Angel. 

The filly will be having her fourth run for the preparation after finishing just under three lengths astern of her stablemate in the Sangster Stakes last time out. 

"I thought she was super as she was the one three deep, no cover, the whole trip," Stokes said. 

"If she gets cover, she runs closer. 

"She gets in with a light weight on Saturday. She's fully wound up for this and I really think she can run a cheeky race, given the right run. 

"I have seen the improvement in her each run. We had her quite underdone at her first couple and we thought she was ready to peak third-up, but she had a tricky run. 

"I think she can bounce back and run in the top four for us." 

Climbing Star is a $21 chance in betting with Stretan Angel rated a $23 hope. 

Star Perth mare Amelia's Jewel heads the market at $3.80 ahead of fellow Perth galloper Oscar's Fortune ($7.50) with Benedetta ($8) on the next line after Jamie Kah chose that mare as her mount following her third-place finish in the Sangster Stakes.