Last year’s winning trainer Tony Gollan is back seeking successive wins in Saturday’s Victory Stakes 2015 with his defending champion Temple Of Boom joined by two other stablemates in the early Brisbane Winter Racing Carnival feature.
Held this year at the Gold Coast Racecourse as one of two headline showdowns on AD Hollindale Stakes Day, the $200,000 Group 2 Smeg Victory Stakes (1200m) field features a dozen sprinters.
Sitting top of the 12-horse Victory Stakes field is Gollan’s Piccolo eight-year-old Temple Of Boom who is out to go back-to-back in the race for the first time since Buffering won in 2011 and 2013 after the race was not held in 2014.
The last horse to win on successive years meanwhile was Swiss Ace (2008 & 2009).
Twelve months ago when the Victory Stakes ran in Brisbane, Temple Of Boom got the job done as a 40/1 outsider with Tegan Harrison aboard before going on to enjoy a stellar run in the winter Group 1s including seconds to Spirit Of Boom and River Lad respectively in the Doomben 10,000 and Stradbroke Handicap.
This year Harrison is back in the saddle again drawn in gate six, Temple Of Boom first-up having last been seen running a below par 12th of 13 runners in the Group 1 Darley Classic (1200m) at Flemington in November.
Gollan’s two other hopes in 2015 are then the also resuming Alma’s Fury (barrier nine) who hasn’t raced since a trip to Perth last November resulted in an 11th to Elite Belle in the Group 1 Railway Stakes (1600m) and Rocket To Glory (barrier four).
With a gun gate four draw and exciting apprentice Luke Tarrant booked for the ride, the in-form Rocket To Glory shoots for his third win on the trot after the Shovhog six-year-old won over the track and distance two back before his victory in the Listed Chief De Beers (1100m) when ridden by Harrison on April 11 at Doomben.
Along with Temple Of Boom the other headliner in the Victory Stakes this year is the Natalie McCall-trained River Lad, the Top Echelon seven-year-old also out to improve on a disappointing Melbourne Spring Carnival Group 1 run in November.
He was 11th to Hucklebuck in the Emirates Stakes over the Flemington mile but has a 50% strike rate when resuming (8-4-0-0) and ace winter form from last year to emulate.
River Lad was seventh in the Victory Stakes last year but quickly atoned going on to win back-to-back races including his win over Temple Of Boom when the duo ran the quinella in the $2 million Group 1 Stradbroke Handicap (1400m).
Also resuming on Saturday are the Colin Scott-trained Speediness who was runner-up in the Toorak Handicap last October and Ciaron Maher’s super-consistent Srikandi.
Four-year-old Dubai mare Srikandi has come up trumps with barrier one this weekend with top Queensland hoop Damian Browne to ride.
Third to River Lad in the Stradbroke last time out, it has been a while between runs for her but her impressive record of six wins from eight starts and her undefeated status over the distance (4-4-0-0) makes her an imposing force in her return to racing this weekend.
Other notable hopes include the Kelly Schweida-trained Cape Kidnappers with the outside barrier to overcome and the Joe Pride-trained Sydney raider Ball Of Muscle in gate three for Blake Shinn.
Ball Of Muscle has run first or second in his six most recent runs, the Dubawi four-year-old second-up on Saturday after a second on April 11 over 1000m at Flemington and boasting a flawless second-up record (3-3-0-0) to date.
See below for the full Victory Stakes 2015 field, barriers and jockeys.
Then head over to our preferred online bookmaker Ladbrokes.com.au to open your account in preparation for the weekend’s racing, and enjoy having your first deposit matched 100% up to $250 when you use the code BETBONUS!
2015 Victory Stakes Final Field & Barrier Draw
Gold Coast Race 7 (3:17pm) – 25/04/2015
|#||Form (Last 10)||Horse||Trainer||Jockey||Br.||Wgt.||Hcp. Rating|
|1||1422x2560x||TEMPLE OF BOOM||Tony Gollan||Tegan Harrison||6||58.5kg||109|
|2||2x711x400x||RIVER LAD||Natalie Mccall||Damien Oliver||8||58.5kg||110|
|3||20x402406x||SPEEDINESS||Colin Scott||Steven Arnold||7||58.5kg||106|
|4||711x70420x||ALMA’S FURY||Tony Gollan||Jim Byrne||9||58.5kg||104|
|5||211539×611||ROCKET TO GLORY||Tony Gollan||Luke Tarrant (a)||4||58.5kg||103|
|6||1133250×46||KNOYDART||John O’Shea||Hugh Bowman||2||58.5kg||104|
|7||544140x4x8||DANCES ON STARS (NZ)||Gerald Ryan||Brenton Avdulla||5||58.5kg||100|
|8||x7112x3Lx2||CAPE KIDNAPPERS||Kelly Schweida||Ric McMahon||12||58.5kg||101|
|9||28x44067x3||HIDDEN WARRIOR||Gordon Yorke||Jim Cassidy||10||58.5kg||95|
|10||558x65x500||WHITTINGTON||John P Thompson||Chad Schofield||11||58.5kg||92|
|11||131x1121x2||BALL OF MUSCLE||Joseph Pride||Blake Shinn||3||58.5kg||98|
|12||1x2111113x||SRIKANDI||Ciaron Maher||Damian Browne||1||56.5kg||105|