Sunshine Coast horseman Trevor Miller is hoping for an improved run over the mile from former Rockhampton-trained Victory Hotel in the 2015 Bernborough Handicap at Doomben Racecourse this weekend.
Miller took over the training of the Hotel Grand five-year-old who was transferred from Rockhampton to Caloundra at the request of his Queensland-based connections Brian and Alwyn Durrington.
Having prepared a host of gallopers for the same owners over the years, Miller had the gelding spot-on for a first-up win on November 7 at Doomben where Victory Hotel defeated Jumbo Prince narrowly over 1350m.
His next two runs in stakes’ company were luckless efforts in the opening two legs of the Brisbane Summer Sprint Series he’ll be out to atone for in Saturday’s $175,000 Listed Treasury Casino & Hotel Bernborough Handicap (1615m).
One of 14 milers in the mix the horse jumps from barrier nine with flying apprentice James Orman taking over in the saddle after Beau Appo rode him to 12th in the Listed Recognition Stakes (1600m) last month before Danielle Johnson was aboard for the sixth in the Listed Brisbane Handicap (1640m) on December 5.
Both the Recognition Stakes and Brisbane Handicap were won by Tony Gollan’s in-form mare Traveston Girl who could be the one to beat again as she looks to complete the Triple Crown on Saturday from barrier eight with Tegan Harrison retaining the ride.
Leading Queensland Metropolitan and Senior Riders Premiership contender Orman has previous history with Victory Hotel with three rides for three wins back in Rockhampton earlier in the year including the Rockhampton Cup (1600m) on June 20.
Formerly prepared by Darryl Gardiner, Victory Hotel has had six runs over the mile for three wins and reuniting with Orman this weekend on the 54kg minimum gives Miller hope of a return to form.
“He is in form and he has won on Victory Hotel. The horse certainly hasn’t gone backwards since his last run,” Miller told AAP this week.
“I think his best distance is at the 1600 metres as he has won three times at the trip.”
Orman is also full of confidence that he can finish up his Brisbane Summer Racing Carnival campaign on a high after recording his maiden stakes’ win aboard Sold For Song in the Gold Edition Plate last Saturday.
“It is good to get back on him and he ran the 1600 metres out strongly when we combined to win the Rocky Cup in the winter,” he said.
Other notable Bernborough Handicap hopefuls this summer include Brisbane Handicap second and third placed Hopfgarten and Shotover River both out to turn the tables on Traveston Girl.
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