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Despite being as yet unconfirmed to make the trip to Brisbane on Saturday, the Bjorn Baker-trained Music Magnate has opened the short-priced favourite in 2017 Victory Stakes betting at Eagle Farm Racecourse.
An early lead-up to the coming Group 1 Brisbane Winter Racing Carnival features, this year’s $200,000 Group 2 Ellyce Galvin Victory Stakes (1200m) attracted a diminutive final field of just seven sprinters.
That number could further drop by jump time on Saturday with a couple of the key contenders in doubt to travel to Queensland for the weight-for-age clash.
One of the horses that could be scratched from the field is the current $2.45 favourite in Victory Stakes betting at Ladbrokes.com.au Music Magnate.
The proven elite level winner however may be kept at home in Sydney this weekend and go straight into the Group 1 Doomben 10,000 (1200m) on May 13 without a lead-up run in Brisbane.
Music Magnate won last year’s Doomben 10,000 and has been first past the post in just one race since taking out Rosehill’s Group 2 Expressway Stakes (1200m) first-up in late January.
“At this stage, I’m undecided and I’m probably leaning to staying at home,” Baker told Racing Queensland News.
“But if I change my mind we can still leave by tomorrow night in plenty of time for the race.
“I think he’s going as good now as when he won the Doomben 10000 last year but the only thing is he doesn’t like a shifty track.”
The other top fancy in the Victory Stakes odds is fellow Group 1 winner Takedown at $3.30 to win second-up after a failed run in the mud at Randwick on April 15.
Gary Moore’s Stratum four-year-old took out the Winterbottom Stakes (1200m) in Perth last November before travelling to Hong Kong for a close sixth to Aerovelocity in the HK Sprint (1200m) beaten just two lengths.
Moore believed reigning champion Fell Swoop would be the one to beat in Saturday’s Victory Stakes, but Canberra trainer Matthew Dale opted not to accept instead keeping the horse fresh for next month’s Doomben 10,000.
That opens things up for Takedown to return to winning form over a distance he boasts four victories and a third from nine previous runs over.
In a tight market three other runners are also under $10 for the win including early market mover Tumbler ($7.50 into $6.50) for local horseman Barry Lockwood.
The Time Thief mare is in flying form having won six of her seven career starts to date, the lightly-raced five-year-old coming off a Doomben win from mid-April.
She rises notably in class this weekend and if she handles the Group 2 company could prove the one to beat.
Following in the markets are the Robert Heathcote-trained Hopfgarten ($7.50) and Good Standing ($8) drawn in barriers four and three respectively for their first-up assignments.
Mossman six-year-old Hopfgarten enjoyed a winning Deagon trial on April 18, the interstate Group 1 performed local after his first victory since June last year.
Good Standing meanwhile travels up from Sydney, the James Cummings-trained Artie Schiller three-year-old taking on the older sprinters first-up.
The colt won the Group 3 Norman Robinson Stakes (2000m) at Caulfield last October, but hasn’t raced since his brave seventh when only three lengths off the winner Awesome Rock at Flemington during the Melbourne Cup Carnival in the Group 1 Emirates Stakes (2000m).
Check out the latest Victory Stakes 2017 odds below, pricing provided by Ladbrokes.com.au.
2017 Victory Stakes Odds
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