Jumbo Ozaki winning at Bendigo (Image: Racing Photos)
Phillip Stokes is confident Jumbo Ozaki can right a wrong when he tackles the Flemington straight six first-up on Saturday.
The son of Unencumbered boasts two wins from his three career starts and could be undefeated, save for a desperately unlucky run when a beaten $1.95 favourite at Flemington in March.
Stokes couldn't be happier with the manner in which Jumbo Ozaki has returned to work this campaign and believes, off the back of a soft trial win last month, he's forward enough and classy enough to win fresh.
"He's come back in great order, he's bigger, stronger and he's definitely more furnished," Stokes told RSN927.
"He's looking really well, although he's still got a woolly coat on him.
"There's improvement in him bit he's definitely forward enough to run a good race on Saturday.
"I think he'll like it (straight course), he's a big, striding horse and I think he's definitely better on those bigger tracks."
Form analysts and punters alike were tipping a bright future for Jumbo Ozaki after his seven-length debut romp in February and, while he doesn't have any firm targets for the four-year-old, Stokes said he will be given the opportunity to graduate to Stakes grade this campaign if his form warrants it.
"The signs are that he's well-above average but we just start them off low in their grades and let them do the talking," he said.
"If he's good enough, we'll give him his chance."
The Pakenham horseman is also optimistic about Sansom's ($11) chances of making it four wins on end in Saturday's 1400-metre Benchmark 70 contest.
The Charm Spirit gelding turned heads when making all over 1300m at Sandown last start and, while he admits that there's little to no improvement in the three-year-old, Stokes believes he can measure up against the likes of Heirborn ($3.80), Maozi ($4) and Conqueror ($5).
"He's really improved this preparation and he's probably still one preparation away," Stokes said.
"He hasn't gone backwards from his last run but I wouldn't say he's improved.
"He worked really well here on Tuesday, Benny Allen rode him and he was happy with the work."