Nine sprinters have been confirmed in the final field for Saturday’s featured Group 2 Victory Stakes (1200m) at Doomben Racecourse; highlighted by the inclusion of some of the Brisbane Winter Carnival’s most exciting prospects.
Fell Swoop has returned to racing in particularly slick form this time and will be very hard to beat in the 2016 Victory Stakes after drawing the ideal barrier 2.
Capping a standout 2015 campaign with consecutive wins in the Listed Chandler McCloud Stakes (1200m) and Listed Testa Rossa Stakes (1200m), Fell Swoop was sent off at double figure odds in the Group 1 Oakleigh Plate (1100m) first-up this time but produced a huge late turn of foot to finish second in a photo.
Progressing to fourth in the Group 1 The Galaxy (1100m), the Not A Single Doubt gelding produced a career-best effort to finish a close second behind Chautauqua in the Group 1 TJ Smith Stakes (1200m) on Day 1 of The Championships.
Knoydart has been a strong and consistent performer for Godolphin through his entire racing career so far and could very well receive the run of the race in the Victory Stakes from barrier 3.
A proven Brisbane performer, Knoydart arrived north of the border in 2015 for fourth in the Victory Stakes; progressing to second in the Group 1 BTC Cup (1200m) and fourth in the Group 1 Doomben 10,000 (1350m) most notably.
Having run a close second in the Group 3 Hall Mark Stakes (1200m) last time out, Knoydart should prove very hard to beat in the Victory Stakes with local hoop Robbie Fradd aboard.
Artlee was not included in initial nominations for the Victory Stakes on Monday but was confirmed in the race’s final field by trainer Todd Willan this morning.
Artlee was the standout of the country racing circuit in 2015; peaking with an impressive and dominant performance for success in the Country Championship Final (1400m) on Day 2 of The Championships.
Winning the Listed Luskin Star Stakes (1300m) at the conclusion of his strong autumn prep, the Excellent Art gelding resumed in spring for a credible third in the Listed Lightning (1100m) but returned to the paddock after failing to fire in the Group 3 Guvera Stakes (1400m).
Sure to have taken plenty of benefit from a first-up run in the Hall Mark Stakes, Artlee will likely require some luck in transit after drawing the outside barrier.
Group 1 winner Famous Seamus is positioned perfectly for a good run in the Victory Stakes from barrier 5 while Tony Gollan-trained stable mates Didntcostalot (barrier 1) and Fontelina (barrier 7) have also been confirmed to start.
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2016 Victory Stakes Field and Barrier Draw
|No||Last 10||Horse||Trainer||Jockey||Barrier||Weight||Hcp Rating|
|1||x41111x242||FELL SWOOP||Matthew Dale||Jay Ford||2||58.5kg||105|
|2||x54761x000||FAMOUS SEAMUS (NZ)||Noel Mayfield-Smith||Ryan Wiggins||5||58.5kg||107|
|3||17111x39x9||ARTLEE||Todd Willan||Michael Cahill||9||58.5kg||93|
|4||0x2113116x||DIDNTCOSTALOT||Tony Gollan||Ms Tegan Harrison||1||58.5kg||101|
|5||464238×361||CHOICE BRO||Tony Sears||James Orman (a)||4||58.5kg||93|
|6||000x59310x||FONTELINA||Tony Gollan||Jim Byrne||7||58.5kg||105|
|7||4240x30x02||KNOYDART||John O’Shea||Robbie Fradd||3||58.5kg||104|
|8||11x00x8840||ROCK ROYALTY||Liam Birchley||Jeff Lloyd||6||58.5kg||91|
|9||450x213x90||PINCH RIVER||Robert Heathcote||Glen Colless||8||58.5kg||85|