Defending champion Temple Of Boom is one of the headline entries among the Victory Stakes 2015 nominations taken for the feature sprint at the Gold Coast Racecourse this weekend.
Tony Gollan’s Brisbane-based gelding features among a star-studded list of early entries for Saturday’s $200,000 Group 2 Smeg Victory Stakes (1200m), nominations for which have been extended until 9am on Tuesday.
Currently 15 sprinters are in the mix, the now eight-year-old son of Piccolo Temple Of Boom having won the race last year as a 40/1 outsider when it was run at Eagle Farm Racecourse.
Temple Of Boom, a Group 1 winner thanks to his win in the 2012 The Galaxy in Sydney, went on to enjoy an ace Brisbane Winter Racing Carnival post- Victory Stakes last year.
He ran fourth to Famous Seamus in the Group 1 BTC Cup (1200m) and then ran second behind the fellow Gollan-trained Spirit Of Boom and River Lad respectively in the Group 1 Doomben 10,000 (1350m) and Group 1 Stradbroke Handicap (1400m) to finish off his season.
The galloper is first-up on Saturday in the Victory if accepted, Temple Of Boom last seen running a disappointing second last when 13th to Terravista in the Group 1 Darley Classic (1200m) at Flemington last November.
Gollan has a total of four Victory Stakes nominees this year having also entered for seven-year-old Alma’s Fury, the in-form Rocket To Glory who has won his past two on the trot including one over this track and distance in mid-March, and Whiskey Allround.
All Bar One four-year-old Whiskey Allround won a string of Queensland sprints during the spring – summer season before a second behind Big Money in the Listed Lough Neagh Stakes (1350m) at Doomben last December.
He returned then at Doomben on April 11 and ran a brave third to his stablemate and fellow Victory Stakes hopeful Rocket To Glory in the Listed Chief De Beers Handicap (1110m) when beaten only one and a half lengths.
Also coming off a top three run in the Chief De Beers a fortnight back is the always-competitive Commands seven-year-old Cape Kidnappers from the Eagle Farm stables of Kelly Schweida.
The veteran sprinter was second to Rocket To Glory in his first run since losing his rider Damian Browne in the Lough Neagh following an ace summer season at home.
Another top performer last time out is the Gordon Yorke-trained Hidden Warrior who surprised plenty as a 41/1 roughie in last Saturday’s Group 3 Hall Mark Stakes (1200m) at Randwick to run third behind 2015 Stradbroke Handicap hopeful Our Boy Malachi.
A genuine headliner in the Victory Stakes this year meanwhile is River Lad from the Sunshine Coast, the Natalie McCall-trained Top Echelon seven-year-old having won Queensland’s richest race last winter when beating home Temple Of Boom in the $2 million Stradbroke.
He hasn’t won again since and will be first-up on the weekend having last run a below par 11th to Hucklebuck when stretched out over the mile for the Group 1 Emirates Stakes (1600m) at Flemington on November 8.
Third in the Stradbroke Handicap last winter, Ciaron Maher’s class Melbourne mare Srikandi is another big hope on Saturday.
The four-year-old won the Listed Silk Stocking (1200m) in the wet on Hollindale Stakes Day last May before a successful Brisbane black type run, a Group 3 win over the 1350m at the same course and then her Straddie place when beaten only a length with Glen Boss in the saddle.
She is undefeated in her four previous runs over Saturday’s distance and rain will help this known mudlark who returns to racing here.
Other notable Victory Stakes nominations include Joe Pride’s consistent Dubawi four-year-old Ball Of Muscle, Snitzel mare Estonian Princess who was fifth in the Group 1 Myer Classic (1600m) during the Melbourne Cup Carnival, the John O’Shea-trained Knoydart last seen running sixth in The Galaxy on March 21 and returning Toorak Handicap runner-up Speediness.
See below for the current 2015 Victory Stakes nominations ahead of the release of the final field on Wednesday.
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2015 Victory Stakes Nominations
Gold Coast Racecourse – 25/04/2015
|1||ALMA’S FURY||Tony Gollan|
|2||BALL OF MUSCLE||Joseph Pride|
|3||CAPE KIDNAPPERS||Kelly Schweida|
|4||DANCES ON STARS (NZ)||Gerald Ryan|
|5||ESTONIAN PRINCESS||Gerald Ryan|
|6||FINAL CRESCENDO||David Kelly|
|7||HIDDEN WARRIOR||Gordon Yorke|
|9||RIVER LAD||Natalie Mccall|
|10||ROCKET TO GLORY||Tony Gollan|
|13||TEMPLE OF BOOM||Tony Gollan|
|14||WHISKEY ALLROUND||Tony Gollan|
|15||WHITTINGTON||John P Thompson|