Phillip Stokes pair go head to head at Flemington

Phillip Stokes says it is unfortunate that he will line up two horses in the same race at Flemington.

Savannah Cloud, a last start winner at The Valley, and the unlucky Way To Go Paula are set to line up in the Myer Giftorium Handicap (1400m) on Saturday.

A son of Savabeel, Savannah Cloud has been a model of consistency throughout his career winning two of his ninse starts with a further six placings, five times filling the runner-up role.

The only time Savannah Cloud has failed to fill a place was when finishing seventh in the Group 3 Guineas Prelude (1400m) at Caulfield in September last year.

Stokes said there were excuses for Savannah Cloud as a three-year-old as the galloper required a wind operation while adding the trip will pose no problems on Saturday.

“It’s ideal, I think he’s really looking for it now,” Stokes told RSN.

“He couldn’t do it as a three-year-old but as an older horse he can now as he had to have a minor wind operation and he’s breathing a lot better.

“His work on Tuesday was good and he’s come on from his Moonee Valley run, so he’s there to present in great order.

“We’ll just let him jump, find a spot in behind the speed and I’ll leave the rest to Zac (Spain).”

While the 1400m is now shaping as an ideal trip for Savannah Cloud, it is potentially at the outer limits of the distance range for Way To Go Paula.

After chasing home the smart Duchess Of Dorset over 1200m at Ballarat on November 20, Way To Go Paula was a last start fourth behind Looks Like Elvis in the VOBIS Gold Bullion (1400m) at Pakenham on December 4.

“The 1400 (metres) is probably as far as she wants and when she was flushed out three-wide, no cover, she was always going to be found wanting,” Stokes said.

“She’s drawn to get a good run and she’ll be held up for as long as possible.

“Both are going really well and there’s not much between them, but if anything, I would have a leaning to Savannah Cloud.”

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