Newcastle’s Kris Lees will chase his maiden...
The Jenny Graham-trained Victorem scored an upset in the Victory Stakes 2020 results at Eagle Farm on Saturday earning his chance at the Group 1 Stradbroke Handicap next start.
Having been based up at Eagle Farm with trainer Barry Lockwood for the past two months, the Port Macquarie-trained I Am Invincible gelding was back to his best in the Group 2 $175,000 Victory Stakes (1200m) after playing up in the gates at Doomben last start.
The Group 1 performed gelding, second at Randwick in the $1.3 million The Kosciuszko (1200m) last October, returned on May 9 but bucked and ruined his chances finishing dead last in the Group 3 BRC Sprint (1200m).
Forgotten by the punters for his second-up run in the Victory Stakes based off that, Victorem was a different and far more relaxed horse at Eagle Farm and saluted in the Group 2 as a $17 outsider in betting.
“We did expect him to run well a fortnight ago and he lived up to it today,” Lockwood told the media post-win.
“He loved Eagle Farm even when he was up here last year…a lot of horses do, we go to Doomben and the stabling is different to what’s here and they relax better over here.”
Brilliant out of the barriers, Victorem settled just off the pace in a midfield position, while the Godophin-raced Kementari missed the kick and raced third and fourth last throughout.
Well-backed mare Winter Bride went forward to take up the lead in the Victory Stakes, with the quinella out of the BRC Sprint Deep Image (2nd) and Tambo’s Mate (1st) racing second and then third the fence behind her.
The Tony Gollan-trained favourite Vega One was never in the mix, while his classy stablemate Outback Barbie looked in a good position fourth the outside of the last start BRC Sprint winner Tambo’s Mate.
Winter Bride led into the straight but was quickly challenged by Deep Image on the outside and Tambo’s Mate closer to the rails.
In the closing stages, all eyes went to the late charging Victorem who drove through the middle to win from the returning Sunshine Coast runner-up Niccanova who flashed home for second.
“He’s got it (a great turn of foot),” Lockwood said of Victorem.
“He just goes by them on the bit and it just makes me feel sick!
“To be given the chance to handle this horse for Jenny has been great as she’s a long time friend.”
The Robert Heathcote-trained Deep Image off the on-pace run held for third in a nice effort to round out the Victory Stakes trifecta.
It was a beautiful ride on Victorem by Mark Du Plessis who rated the horse a huge chance on June 6 back at the track in the Group 1 $350,000 Stradbroke Handicap (1400m) despite not being available to ride him.
“Riding him on the course proper here last Friday, he gave me an enormous feel.
“He came through it (the run today) beautifully and he won really well.
“I dare say this horse could improve. He pulled up a little bit stuff as he’s entitled to do.
“He ran right through the line today, I don’t think the 1400m will be a problem and he bounced off that track.”
Victorem is currently allocated just 52.5kg in the Stradbroke Handicap weights and looks a brilliant lightweight chance in the winter feature.
“It’s straight to the Stradbroke,” Lockwood confirmed.
“A couple of jockeys will be sawing their legs off to ride him (at the light weight) now!”
2020 Victory Stakes Results
|1||7||VICTOREM||Jenny Graham||Mark Du Plessis||3||56.5kg||$17|
|2||6||NICCANOVA||Steve Tregea||James Orman||1.3L||8||56.5kg||$21|
|3||11||DEEP IMAGE||Robert Heathcote||Ms Stephanie Thornton||1.7L||10||56kg||$9|
|4||15||OUTBACK BARBIE||Tony Gollan||Baylee Nothdurft (a)||1.9L||6||54.5kg||$10|
|5||3||TYZONE||Toby & Trent Edmonds||Robbie Fradd||2.2L||13||57kg||$16|
|6||12||WINTER BRIDE||Toby & Trent Edmonds||Brad Stewart||2.4L||9||55.5kg||$5.50|
|7||4||TAMBO’S MATE||Stuart Kendrick||Matthew McGillivray||2.6L||5||57kg||$13|
|8||1||KEMENTARI||James Cummings||Ryan Maloney||3L||11||58kg||$5.50|
|9||8||VEGA ONE||Tony Gollan||Jim Byrne||3.2L||7||56.5kg||$4.80F|
|10||13||FREDDIE FOX TROT||Les Kelly||Sean Cormack||4.2L||2||55kg||$26|
|11||5||CHAPTER AND VERSE||Desleigh Forster||Michael Cahill||4.4L||12||57kg||$31|
|12||9||SIGNORE FOX||Peter & Paul Snowden||Larry Cassidy||5.6L||4||56.5kg||$41|
|13||2||SESAR||Kacy Fogden||Jag Guthmann-Chester||5.8L||1||58kg||$61|
Table Credit: Racing Australia
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