Eclair Choice to Improve in 2016 Oakleigh Plate

February 24th, 2016

Eclair Choice was unable to make much of a competitive impact in his racing return a fortnight ago, however jockey Dom Tourneur has revealed the horse has taken plenty of benefit from the run leading into Saturday’s 2016 Oakleigh Plate (1100m) at Caulfield.

Eclair Choice will carry improvement into Saturday's Group 1 Oakleigh Plate at Caulfield. Photo: Steve Hart

Eclair Choice will carry improvement into Saturday’s Group 1 Oakleigh Plate at Caulfield. Photo: Steve Hart

Jumping from the gates well in the Group 2 Rubiton Stakes (1100m) at Caulfield, Tourneur allowed the gelding to stride forward and take a position within the field of ten on the rails.

Receiving a good run in transit, the California Dane gelding somewhat responded when asked for an extra effort in the final straight but clearly lacked race fitness; fading late for sixth.

Tourneur told Racing Ahead he partnered Éclair Choice in a strong piece of work earlier this week and was pleased with the feel offered up by the four-year-old ahead of his second-up task in the 2016 Oakleigh Plate.

“He probably takes a run or two, he was a little bit round in condition first-up,” Tourneur said.

“He’s taken good improvement from him. I took him for a gallop yesterday, a good searching gallop and he seemed to hit the line well.

“We’re looking for an improved run from him.”

Éclair Choice has been a strong and consistent performer for leading South Australian trainer Phillip Stokes since first appearing in late 2013; posting an impressive six wins and seven minors through seventeen competitive starts.

Resuming in 2015 for second place finishes in each of the Drink Driving Grow Up Handicap (1200m) and Listed Bendigo Guineas (1400m), the gelding out of Bounce returned to winning form in the Listed Redelva Stakes (1100m) on April 18th and ended his campaign a credible fifth in the Group 2 William Hill Stakes (1200m) on May 9th.

Undoubtedly finding career-best form to date through the recent Spring Carnival, Éclair Choice ran fifth in the Listed Carlyon Stakes (1000m) first-up; progressing to third in the Listed Wylie Handicap (1100m) before taking out each of the Group 2 Caulfield Sprint (1200m) and Group 2 Salinger Stakes (1200m) in succession.

Ladbrokes.com.au is currently offering the best 2016 Oakleigh Plate odds, for which Éclair Choice can be taken at a generous quote of $34 for success or $9 to finish in the first three.