Daqiansweet Junior on track for G1 Sydney Cup

He isn’t much to look at and for a while, Sydney Cup contender Daqiansweet Junior wasn’t much chop on the racetrack.

But a change of scenery has turned the horse’s fortunes around and the former New Zealander can cap a remarkable progression through the grades when he bids to add another two-mile race to his resume at Randwick.

Daqiansweet Junior showed little in eight starts across the Tasman and was equally plain in an off-season benchmark race in Sydney last year before he was transferred to Phillip Stokes.

His first run for his new stable yielded a midfield effort in a benchmark race at Moe and a similar performance at Bendigo followed.

Stokes admitted he held out little hope for the horse.

“After his first two runs, we thought ‘where’s this horse heading? He’s not much good’,” Stokes said.

“Then he won at Pakenham and he strung four together and went on to win an Adelaide Cup.”

Stokes says the impetus for the horse’s form surge has been farm life.

Daqiansweet Junior has turned the corner since Stokes began training him out of a paddock, winning five of his past six starts highlighted by a Caulfield victory over last Saturday’s Chairman’s Handicap winner Nerve Not Verve and last-start Adelaide Cup triumph.

“We’ve got a farm here near our training complex at Pakenham and we train him out of the farm. Once I started doing that, he was a changed horse,” Stokes said.

“He does a lot of hill work at our farm and he loves his work.

“It is amazing how he has come from being beaten in a benchmark race at Moe in October to getting to a Sydney Cup.”

Kerrin McEvoy has a great record in two-mile races and will partner Daqiansweet Junior after the connections of his original 2022 Sydney Cup mount Duais decided to bypass the race in favour of a Queen Elizabeth Stakes start.

Stokes is hoping the big race jockey can deliver him a first major in the harbour city.

“I’ve won a Queensland Derby but nothing much in Sydney, so we’d like to get up there and win a big race,” he said.

About RS NewsWire

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