Six-year-old gelding Savannah Cloud scored a well-deserved black-type victory in a thrilling finish of the Listed Regal Roller Stakes (1200m), prevailing by a nose over a fast-finishing Umgawa at Caulfield on Saturday.
The Phillip Stokes-trained gelding has been a model of consistency throughout his career and had previously placed at Group Three level last campaign prior to heading for a spell.
The son of Savabeel camped in behind a solid pace under jockey Daniel Moor and drove up the inside of his rivals to score in a blanket finish, where just 0.6 lengths covered the first five across the line.
The winner of eight of 25 starts and placed on a further 13 occasions, Stokes said the black-type success was due reward.
“It was really well deserved, I just thought he’d need the run today,” Stokes said.
“I had him going to a benchmark race in three weeks’ time, we might have to re-evaluate that now.
“Buckets (Daniel Moor) gave him a beautiful ride and got his head down.”
Moor, who has recently returned from a stint riding in Singapore, was pleased to notch a stakes win so early in the season and said the race unfolded perfectly.
“I haven’t been back long, so obviously I’m thankful for the support of my regular crew, in Stokesy and whatnot,” he said.
“It’s terrific for this horse to get a Stakes win under his belt, especially given we thought he’d come to the races with good improvement. If that is the case, hopefully he is in for a good preparation.”
Savannah Cloud was purchased out of Haunui Farm’s 2019 New Zealand Bloodstock Book 1 Yearling Sale draft by Dalziel Bloodstock and Peter Moody for $140,000.