The countdown to the Sydney Spring Racing...
Resuming Toowoomba galloper Niccanova is the early 2020 Victory Stakes betting market mover for Saturday’s feature race in Brisbane with money for the roughie hope to get up over the favourites.
Following the early withdrawal of the Kris Lees-trained Miss Fabulass who runs in Sydney instead, the field for the Group 2 $175,000 Victory Stakes (1200m) is down to 15.
Held at set weights plus penalties this Brisbane Winter Racing Carnival instead of weight-for-age, the race now serves as the key lead-up to the Group 1 Stradbroke Handicap (1400m) back at Eagle Farm on June 6.
Drawn gate 10 with James Orman to ride, the gelding hasn’t raced since carrying a hefty 60kg to a narrow second at the Sunshine Coast in January’s Listed Sunshine Coast Cup (1400m).
Prior to that he won the Listed Bernborough Handicap (1600m) over the mile at Eagle Farm carrying 59kg and he boasts a 50% winning strike rate (6:3-0-0) first-up ahead of Saturday’s showdown.
Looking well-weighted with 56.6kg fresh over the 1200m, Niccanova certainly shapes up as a value runner to watch as he steps up in class for the Victory Stakes.
Five runners are under double-figures in the markets with the Tony Gollan-trained Vega One the stead $4.50 favourite in barrier nine for jockey Jim Byrne.
Third-up the Lope De Vega four-year-old looks fit and ready to improve on two close fourths including finishing just a length off the winner at Doomben on May 9 in the Group 3 BRC Sprint (1200m).
Another horse sneaking in well weight-wise, Vega One won the $1 million Magic Millions Cup (1400m) at the Gold Coast in January and is a two-time winner from three runs at the Eagle Farm track.
The danger following closely at $5 is the Group 1 winning Godolphin galloper Kementari who ran fifth in the BRC Sprint last start, still only 1.15 lengths beaten.
He is out to break a notable winning drought that goes back to his Group 1 Randwick Guineas (1600m) success as a three-year-old in March of 2018, but the James Cummings-trained son of Lonhro boasts plenty of class and drops weight here.
Stablemate to the favourite, BRC Sprint third placed Outback Barbie is the $7 third elect to win the Victory Stakes this weekend with Gollan’s Magic Millions QTIS winning mare looking to break her Eagle Farm hoodoo.
She never runs a bad race and should be flying with 54.5kg on her back, but the four-year-old daughter of Spirit Of Boom is yet to run top three from five previous runs at the track.
Rob Heathcote’s BRC Sprint runner-up Deep Image ($8.50) and Group 1 placed mare Winter Bride ($9.50) round out the Victory Stakes horses under $10 for the win before the BRC Sprint winner Tambo’s Mate at $13.
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