A top line-up of Group 1 winners and performers make up the Victory Stakes 2014 nominations for the Eagle Farm feature this weekend, one of the headline entries being the Gerald Ryan-trained Snitzerland.
While the Group 1 races are reserved for Sydney and Adelaide on Saturday, Brisbane gears up for their winter carnival with a double shot of Group racing topped by the $175,000 Group 2 Greenslopes Private Victory Stakes (1200m).
The race attracted 15 nominees this year including a Ryan-trained duo led by his smart Snitzel mare Snitzerland.
She’s looking to return to the first-up form that saw her win the Group 1 Black Caviar Lightning (1000m) at Flemington in mid-February, and atone for her last start 12th to superstar Lankan Rupee in the Group 1 TJ Smith Stakes (1200m) from April 12.
Ryan’s other possible Victory Stakes runner is then five-year-old Hot Snitzel last seen running second to Flamberge in the Group 3 St Kingdom Stakes (1200m) in the wet at Rosehill on Slipper Day.
Also with dual nominations are Queensland trainers Rob Heathcote and Tony Gollan.
Brisbane’s best horseman, Heathcote has nominated for St. Petersburg seven-year-old Solzhenitsyn and Bradbury’s Luck mare Fire Up Fifi.
Solzhenitsyn enjoyed a Group 1 Toorak Handicap win over the Caulfield mile in October last year, but their subsequent two runs saw them finish dead last in the Mackinnon and Emirates Stakes.
They trialed well at Doomben earlier in the month however and go well fresh so should be in better form again here should they run.
Fire Up Fifi meanwhile is out to improve on her last start 13th when beating home just three other runners in the Group 1 Coolmore Classic (1500m) at Rosehill on March 22.
Gollan meanwhile could saddle-up half-brothers Spirit Of Broom and Temple Of Boom.
Sequalo six-year-old Spirit Of Boom is in flying form having run top two in their past three Group 1 runs on the trot.
They were runner-up to Lankan Rupee in the Oakleigh Plate – Newmarket Handicap double in Melbourne before winning their own elite level on March 14 at Moonee Valley in the William Reid Stakes.
Veteran seven-year-old Piccolo gelding Temple Of Boom meanwhile gets a chance of breaking a lengthy drought here on the back of a sixth in the St Kingdom from April 5.
One of the other major players meanwhile is the Joe Pride-trained Tiger Tees, winner of the Group 1 The Galaxy (1100m) at Rosehill two back.
In their latest run the Dubawi six-year-old was far from disgraced when fourth behind Lankan Rupee in the TJ Smith here two weeks back.
Another Sunshine State galloper in with a shot is the Steve Tregea-trained Stratum four-year-old Love Rocks from Toowoomba who is first-up here if accepted.
Last prep they won their last three straight including a step up to Black Type company in the Listed Lough Neagh Stakes (1350m) at Doomben on December 21 where they beat home Benny’s Buttons.
Other notable entries include Sunshine Coast galloper River Lad last seen running second in the Group 2 Expressway Stakes from February and December’s Group 2 Brisbane Handicap winner Someday.
See below for the full Victory Stakes 2014 nominations and weights.
All the weekend’s fields are due out on Wednesday and will be published right here at Races.com.au.
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2014 Victory Stakes Nominations
Eagle Farm Racecourse – 26/04/2014
|1||CELTIC DANCER||Noel J Doyle||10||58.5kg||89|
|2||FAMOUS SEAMUS (NZ)||Noel Mayfield-Smith||9||58.5kg||106|
|3||HOT SNITZEL||Gerald Ryan||6||58.5kg||106|
|4||LOVE ROCKS||Steve Tregea||13||58.5kg||97|
|5||MISHANI WARRIOR||Les Ross||12||58.5kg||97|
|6||RIVER LAD||Natalie Mccall||7||58.5kg||106|
|8||SOLZHENITSYN (NZ)||Robert Heathcote||4||58.5kg||114|
|10||SPIRIT OF BOOM||Tony Gollan||2||58.5kg||112|
|11||TEMPLE OF BOOM||Tony Gollan||3||58.5kg||105|
|12||TIGER TEES (NZ)||Joseph Pride||5||58.5kg||110|
|13||FIRE UP FIFI||Robert Heathcote||15||56.5kg||105|