Melbourne trainer Colin Scott has confirmed plans to race his veteran galloper Speediness first-up in the Victory Stakes 2015 at the Gold Coast on Hollindale Stakes Day this weekend.
Saturday’s Gold Coast meet is an early lead-up for the Brisbane Winter Racing Carnival riches over the coming weeks and features a double shot of Group 2 racing action including the $175,000 Victory Stakes (1200m).
A rising eight-year-old son of Testa Rossa, Speediness may be getting on in years but Scott remains confident he will come back and perform again for another season starting in the Victory Stakes where he’ll shoot for his fourth first-up win from 11 attempts.
To date Speediness has won over $1.08 million in prize money thanks to a 37 start career that features a number of Group 1 placings, the most recent of which was a second behind Trust In A Gust in the Toorak Handicap (1600m) at Caulfield last October.
His last start was at Sandown-Hillside in mid-November when sixth to French import Pornichet in the Group 3 Sandown Stakes (1500m), which followed a disappointing 10th in the Group 1 Emirates Stakes (1600m).
That is form Scott isn’t fazed by however, the trainer focusing instead on the horse’s first-up win in the Group 3 Bobbie Lewis Quality (1200m) at Flemington in September of 2013, and his brave fourth in the same race when defending his title last spring behind subsequent TJ Smith Stakes hero Chautauqua.
“In the back of my mind are his two first up runs in the Bobbie Lewis,” Scott told Racing Victoria.
“He won it in 2013 and ran fourth last year, but he was back behind Chautauqua and ran fourth beaten two lengths by Chautauqua who had 54kg and he had 59.5kg.
“It was the fastest last 600 that he’s ever run in his life so there’s nothing wrong with his ability to run well first up.”
Despite the notable break between starts, Scott saw enough in a recent Caulfield jumpout to suggest Speediness will be back to his best on the weekend with jockey Steven Arnold also pleased with the recent work.
“His action was great and I thought he trialled super, there was nothing between him and (last year’s Stradbroke Handicap third placegetter) Srikandi,” Scott said.
“Steven Arnold rode him at Caulfield and he’s happy to ride him throughout his preparation based on that trial.”
The Victory Stakes will be the sprinter-miler’s first run in the Sunshine State, and his trainer hopes he handles it well ahead of raid on the upcoming sprint features in Brisbane over the carnival.
Speediness has been up in Queensland since early last week and his major targets this time in are the $750,000 Group 1 Doomben 10,000 (1350m) on May 23 and the $2 million Group 1 Stradbroke Handicap (1400m) on June 6.
Scott also hasn’t completely ruled out a shot at the $500,000 Group 1 BTC Cup (1200m) on Doomben Cup Day on May 9 in the lead-up to his confirmed elite level aims.
“The BTC Cup two weeks after Saturday isn’t out of the question if it was going to be a rain affected track on the day,” he said.
“Unfortunately this week he’s managed to achieve his regular goal of getting rid of any rain that was around, it’s unbelievable but there’s nothing you can do about that.”
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