THE decision to call Adelaide home is already proving fruitful for Victorian apprentice Jessica Eaton.
A Morphettville double was one thing, but she was struggling for words after winning her first black-type feature in Saturday’s Listed Lightning Stakes aboard exciting filly Parlophone.
Amazingly it was her first win for former boss Mick Price, a win that shot the lightly-race daughter of I Am Invincible into calculations for the Group 1 Thousand Guineas later in the year.
Parlophone opened at $15, and as much as $16 was bet with tab.com.au before the filly powered past rivals to justify a massive betting move that saw her surpass boom filly Just Zerene as favourite and jump a $4.20 favourite before winning by three lengths.
“I started my apprenticeship with Mick Price and have never ridden a winner for him,” Eaton said.
“To ride a Listed winner for him is massive,” she said.
While Eaton is enjoying calling South Australian hope temporarily, a former Victorian, Octane, could be headed back across the border.
In the coming days the Stokes stable will make a call on a return to Melbourne or a tilt at the Group 3 Spring Stakes in Adelaide next month.
Octane has now won five of six starts since joining the stable after he ran down Rainmoth, and a benchmark 70 race at Flemington is the likely target for the in-form gelding
“Flemington over the 1100m in a fortnight for the same money looks like a very good option, but I also really like him fresh,” Adelaide foreman Tommy Stokes said.
“So three weeks between runs into the Spring Stakes could also be a better option.”
The big plus was Octane’s ability to race more tractably and closer to the speed before rounding up rivals.
“He raced like a normal horse,” rider Kayla Crowther said.
“That might have taken some of the sprint of his finish, but he was really good again.”
It was a second leg of a riding double for Crowther after winning the opening race aboard Bertwhistle for trainer Daryl Dodson.
And one of the rising stars of the SA training ranks, Travis Doudle, will look at a potential Balaklava Cup tilt with former Victorian Analytica, who made it successive city wins since coming to SA.
Analytica was last season’s John Letts Medallist winner Todd Pannell’s 65th city win for 2019-20, 22 more than last season, an accolade he looks destined to grab again.
And The Difference provided a fitting finale to a dominant season for top training duo Tony and Calvin McEvoy when he powered away to win late in the day.
Calvin McEvoy hinted winning the trainers’ premiership is something the stable might not do again in the immediate future, as despite maintaining a strong SA presence, the stable will expands its Victorian footprint over the next 12 months while its new Ballarat property is established.