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Only seven sprinters will seek black type success at Eagle Farm Racecourse on Saturday following this morning’s completion and release of the 2017 Victory Stakes field and barrier draw.
Music Magnate is a proven performer in Brisbane, but could require luck in running on Saturday after drawing into the 2017 Victory Stakes field in the outside barrier.
Resuming in 2016 for a smart win in the Group 3 Hall Mark Stakes (1200m), Music Magnate ran a smart second behind Clearly Innocent in the Listed Luskin Star Stakes (1300m) before arriving in Brisbane for a comfortable win in the Group 1 Doomben 10,000 (1350m).
While failing to fire in the Group 1 Stradbroke Handicap (1400m), the Written Tycoon gelding returned to the track this year for success in the Group 2 Expressway Stakes (1200m) on January 28th.
Having failed to finish off the Group 1 Canterbury Stakes (1300m) when a distance fifth behind Le Romain on March 4th, Music Magnate was last seen finishing twelfth in the Group 1 The Galaxy (1100m) on March 18th.
Takedown is sure to have taken plenty of benefit from a first-up run in the Hall Mark Stakes a fortnight ago and should relish the conditions of the Victory Stakes.
Takedown returned to racing for a smart win in the Group 2 The Shorts (1100m) and repeated the dose in the Group 2 Challenge Stakes (1200m) a fortnight later.
Placing second behind Voodoo Lad in the Group 3 Ladbrokes Moonga Stakes (1400m), Takedown placed fifth in the Group 3 L’Oreal Paris Stakes (1400m) before breaking through for a maiden win at the highest level in the Group 1 Winterbottom Stakes (1200m) on November 26th.
Having run a credible sixth in the Group 1 Hong Kong Sprint (1200m) at Sha Tin on December 11th, the Stratum gelding clearly required his run in the Hall Mark Stakes first-up this time and is drawn well in the Victory Stakes in barrier 5, with regular hoop Tim Clark in the saddle.
The James Cummings-trained Good Standing (barrier 3) is the only other interstate raider confirmed in the 2017 Victory Stakes field, while Hopfgarten (barrier 4) and Miss Cover Girl (barrier 1) headline the local contingent of runners.
Hopfgarten has been a strong and largely consistent performer for Robert Heathcote throughout his entire racing career so far and has undoubtedly taken the mantle as the trainer’s stable star since the retirement of Buffering.
Running sixth in the Group 1 Cantala Stakes (1600m) and fifth in the Group 2 Villiers Stakes (1600m) during an interstate campaign in spring and summer, Hopfgarten returned to Queensland for a credible third in the Listed Bernborough Handicap (1600m) and was last seen finishing eighth in the Magic Millions Cup (1400m) on January 14th.
Miss Cover Girl has also not been seen since the Magic Millions meet, but has trialled well in the lead-up to her competitive return and should be right in the finish of the Victory Stakes.
A standout performer for Kelly Schweida in recent season, the daughter of Monashee Mountain won last year’s edition of the Group 1 Tattersall’s Tiara (1400m) at Eagle Farm.
Sony Legend (barrier 2) and Tumbler (barrier 6) complete the 2017 Victory Stakes field.
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2017 Victory Stakes Field and Barrier Draw
|No||Last 10||Horse||Trainer||Jockey||Barrier||Weight||Hcp Rating|
|1||0x112516x8||TAKEDOWN||Gary Moore||Tim Clark||5||58.5kg||111|
|2||1x1210x150||MUSIC MAGNATE (NZ)||Bjorn Baker||Jeff Lloyd||7||58.5kg||112|
|3||5x4062538x||HOPFGARTEN||Robert Heathcote||Ronnie Stewart||4||58.5kg||104|
|4||x1153429x6||SONY LEGEND||Brian Smith||–||2||58.5kg||87.5|
|5||05x953717x||GOOD STANDING||James Cummings||–||3||56.5kg||91|
|6||2741x4300x||MISS COVER GIRL||Kelly Schweida||Damian Browne||1||56.5kg||102|
|7||1211x11x1||TUMBLER||Barry Lockwood||Brad Pengelly||6||56.5kg||89|
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