Highly impressive filly Instant Celebrity has firmed to favourite for the $1 million Thousand Guineas at Caulfield next month on the back of another stunning victory at Morphettville on Saturday.
The short-priced favourite produced a sensational late burst to come from well back on a track not suited to her style of racing and grab Viduka on the line to remain unbeaten after three starts.
The Phillip Stokes-trained Instant Celebrity will now be sent to Melbourne next Sunday and run in the Thousand Guineas Prelude at Caulfield on September 26, and then the Thousand Guineas two weeks later.
Stable spokesman Tommy Stokes admitted he was scared the filly was facing defeat in the 1100m speed test, being at only 80 per cent fitness, “if that”.
The original plan was for Instant Celebrity to run in Melbourne, but Tommy said she was way too underdone and decided to keep her in Adelaide for one more run.
“We were originally going to give her a 2½-week spell, but it ended up being over that and she probably did too well out in the paddock,” Tommy said.
“That was impressive. She was vulnerable today given she was only 80 per cent, if that, going off one trial at Gawler.
“That run will tighten her up nicely and she should be spot on for the grand final (Thousand Guineas).”
Meanwhile, Murray Bridge trainer Michael Hickmott did not hide his lofty opinion of Lord Vladivostok after an impressive win over 1600m, claiming he had the potential to be an Adelaide Cup prospect next year.
Hickmott, having a terrific run with his stable, described the four-year old as a serious horse and predicted he would graduate through the grades and develop into a “really nice carnival horse” come Autumn.
Lord Vladivostok was having only second start for Hickmott after being imported from New Zealand and the trainer took full responsibility for his debut run at Murray Bridge on August 29 when fourth after being well supported in betting.
“I got the horse beat last run,” Hickmott said.
“I gave (jockey) Jess (Eaton) arrogant instructions and just said to park outside the leader.
“That run brought him on a lot and today we saw the beginning of a really nice horse. Full credit to Jess, she said to try a senior rider on him.”
Lord Vladivostok was well ridden by leading jockey Todd Pannell, after Eaton suggested to Hickmott he use a senior rider.