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Herbert Power could be Melbourne Cup trial for stable star

Daqiansweet Junior will target the Melbourne Cup
Daqiansweet Junior is being backed heavily in the Herbert Power Stakes, but is targeting the 2023 Melbourne Cup.

The upcoming Herbert Power Stakes, known for its direct pathway to the Caulfield Cup, will feature Phillip Stokes’ star horse, Daqiansweet Junior.

However, Stokes has his eyes set on a bigger prize for Daqiansweet Junior, with the potential that it will forgo the Caulfield Cup and instead prepare for a shot at the 3200m Melbourne Cup.

“Our whole goal’s been the Melbourne Cup,” he said, hinting that the race this weekend might be Daqiansweet Junior’s final run before the anticipated Melbourne Cup.

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In his recent outing at the Group 3 Naturalism Stakes, Daqiansweet Junior showed promise by making significant ground, which filled Stokes and connections with confidence.

“He’s going really well. His last run was good, that looks like a nice race for him. I think he’ll run well and then he’d hopefully get a run in the Melbourne Cup,” Stokes told

In 2022, Daqiansweet Junior bagged the Adelaide Cup, secured third place in the Sydney Cup, and delivered a commendable performance by finishing sixth in the Melbourne Cup. However, Stokes is optimistic that the horse is in even better shape now.

In addition to Daqiansweet Junior, Stokes will be showcasing Savannah Cloud in the G1 Toorak Handicap this Saturday. The horse will be up against top contender, Amelia’s Jewel. Speaking about the Western Australian mare, Stokes said he could not fault her preparation.

“She’s a superstar, she just keeps on stepping up.”he said.

The latest odds from Neds (Neds review) have Daqiansweet Junior at $8.50 after being as long as $13 for the Herbert Power Stakes, whereas Savannah Cloud has drifted from a $26 quote early in the week out to $54 in the Toorak Handicap.

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