Stephanie Thornton is aiming to ride winners in a pair of Stakes races at Eagle Farm on Saturday

While she will be keeping one eye on the TV to cheer on partner Ben Thompson and brother Damien in the Group 1 Sydney Cup, Stephanie Thornton will have some big fish of her own to fry on Saturday.

Thornton rides highly-rated fancies in both of the Listed races at Eagle Farm with Kylease the $3.60 favourite in the Ascot Handicap and Gotta Kiss ($3.50) vying for favouritism in the Daybreak Lover.

The 22-year-old jockey could triple her career haul of Stakes race wins if she triumphs on the Steve O’Dea and Matthew Hoysted-trained gallopers in the two Listed races.

While Thornton won a $1million race on Gold Coast Magic Millions day earlier this year, her only Stakes win so far was on Sugar Boom for Tony Gollan in the 2019 Mode Plate.

She has a gilt-edged chance to add more Stakes success to her riding resume on Saturday and she highlighted electric sprint mare Kylease as her best chance.

“Her work on Tuesday was brilliant, she was my worker of the morning and hopefully she can live up to what I am expecting of her on Saturday,” Thornton said.

“I’m quite fond of her, she always jumps well and musters speed beautifully.

“She carried a big weight of 59kg last time so back on the minimum (54kg) and with a good gate I think she will be very hard to beat.

“I mentioned to Steve (O’Dea) after her last start about stepping her up in grade because I really felt getting down on the minimum weight would benefit her.

“From the good gate, I don’t expect Master Jamie to be taking her on over 1000m and that is probably the only horse who could take her on.”

So how about the chances of Gotta Kiss, the talented three-year-old filly who put in an uncustomary shocker when beaten more than ten lengths in a field of five at Eagle Farm last start?

Vets could find no reason for the flop, although Gotta Kiss did pull up having a couple of coughs.

The tongue-tie goes on the filly for the first time on Saturday and Thornton is hoping it was just one bad day out last time and Gotta Kiss can bounce back to her best.

Stephanie Thornton (right) with Gotta Kiss earlier this year. Picture by Luke Marsden.Source:Supplied

At the Gold Coast in January, Gotta Kiss ran fifth in the Magic Millions 3YO Guineas and before that she had finished runner-up in the Group 3 Vo Rogue Plate.

“It is a big query as to why she went so poorly last start but she seems to have galloped well in between races,” Thornton said.

“Last time she was very quiet for her on raceday, we initially thought it was great as the whole aim with her has been getting her to settle.

“Once we got to the 600m and got to the outside that’s normally her cue to really pick up the bridle and work into it but I was out of carrots from the 500m which is out of character for her.

“She has never done that to me in a trial or race, she pulled up having a few coughs, and Steve and Matty have applied the tongue-tie since then and she has worked really well in that.

“Hopefully it was just one of those days, we all have off days.”

While Thornton will be firmly focused on riding winners at Eagle Farm on Saturday, she quips she will have conflicted loyalties when watching the Sydney Cup on TV during the day.

Thornton’s partner Ben Thompson, seeking his first Group 1 win, is riding $18 chance Selino for master trainer Chris Waller.

But Thornton’s brother Damien rides favourite Realm Of Flowers for Anthony and Sam Freedman.

“If Ben and Damien are fighting out the finish, I’m not sure which one I should be cheering for,” Thornton laughs.

“I will get in trouble either way.”

Originally published asStephanie Thornton chases two-pronged Stakes delight

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