This Saturday the first major race meeting of the coveted Brisbane Winter Racing Carnival will take place at the prestigious Eagle Farm racecourse.
The scheduled highlight and the first Group race of the carnival is the $150,000 Group 2 Sir Byrne Hart Stakes (1200m), known this year as the Coca-Cola Amatil Victory Stakes.
A below capacity field of just 10 weight-for-age runners will line up in the Victory Stakes this year, including two from the stables of Magic Millions winning trainer Gillian Heinrich. Heinrich has Ghetto Blaster and Tour Guide starting beside each other in barriers seven and eight respectively.
Six-year-old Ghetto Blaster took out the in the Listed Lough Neagh Quality (1350m) in December last year, but in the gelding’s only start this season he ran eighth to Baqaba in the Listed Goldmarket (1300m) with Heinrich hoping he improves second-up on Saturday.
One of the top chances in the Victory Stakes has to be improving Toowoomba-based sprinter Poor Judge.
Coming off three successive wins, the Norm Hilton-trained Royal Academy gelding has drawn the prized barrier one and his performance on Saturday will determine whether he will get a berth at the Queensland Group 1 features later in the carnival.
Other runners set to start in the 2010 Victory Stakes include veteran seven-year-old The Jackal in the far outside barrier 10, Albert The Fat looking to atone for his career-worst performance in the Magic Millions Sprint at the Gold Coast last start, and improving four-year-old Cardinal Virtue.
The winner of the Victory Stakes is exempt from ballot for four of the Group 1 races held during the Brisbane winter carnival including the BTC Cup (1200m) on May 15 at Doomben.
The other highly anticipated black type race taking place at Eagle Farm this Saturday is the $125,000 Group 3 Gunsynd Classic (1600m) for three-year-olds taking place as race seven by a 16 horse capacity field.
As the best of thoroughbred racing moves to the Sunshine State for the next two months, Queensland racing fans will be entertained by a plethora of great feature races including the $500,000 Group 1 Doomben Cup (2020) on May 22, the $650,000 Group 1 Doomben 10,000 (1350m) on May 29 and the renowned $1 million Group 1 Stradbroke Handicap (1400m) on June 12.
If you don’t live in Queensland you can still get in on the great betting action and excitement of Brisbane winter racing by visiting Ladbrokes.com.au, who have all the odds and wagering options open for the carnival.
In other racing around Australia on Saturday, Perth’s Ascot racecourse will host the $250,000 Group 3 WA Sires Produce Stakes (1400m), and two Group 1 Morphettville Races, the $300,000 Goodwood (1200m) and $300,000 South Australian Derby (2500m) will keep Adelaide entertained.
2010 Victory Stakes Final Field & Barriers
|Paul St Vincent||Larry Cassidy||10||58.5|
|Gillian Heinrich||Stathi Katsidis||7||58.5|
ALBERT THE FAT
|Eden Petrie||Damian Browne||6||58.5|
|Trevor Bailey||Glen Colless||3||58.5|
|Danny J Bougoure||–||4||58.5|
|Steele Ryan||Bobby El-Issa||2||56.5|
|Rex Lipp||Jason Holder||9||56.5|
|John P Thompson||Jim Byrne||5||56.5|