Victorem bounces back with timely Victory

Victorem wins the Victory Stakes.
Victorem is back in favour as a Stradbroke Handicap contender after winning the Victory Stakes.

Coronavirus pandemic restrictions mean Port Macquarie trainer Jenny Graham might miss being trackside for her best opportunity to win a Group One race.

The Graham-trained Victorem ($17) overcame a tumultuous two weeks when he beat Niccanova ($21) by 1-1/4 lengths in the Group Two Victory Stakes at Eagle Farm on Saturday.

Deep Impact ($9) was a long neck back in third place.

The win gave Victorem ballot and penalty-free entry to the Group One Stradbroke Handicap on June 6.

Restrictions imposed on travel because of coronavirus have meant Graham has had to send Victorem to her long-time friend, Eagle Farm trainer Barry Lockwood, for his Stradbroke campaign.

Things got off to a rocky start when Victorem bucked after the start of the BRC Sprint two weeks ago and was ordered to barrier trial.

Victorem trialled on Tuesday in a lamb’s wool girth and it seemed to work well when jumping perfectly and he did the same again in the Victory.

Graham was in Port Macquarie on Saturday and said her biggest worry now was getting a jockey.

Mark Du Plessis rode Victorem but has a Stradbroke booking for Outback Barbie.

Outback Barbie is still outside the field for the Stradbroke and Du Plessis could become available.

“I am sure we will get plenty of jockeys ringing us. This horse has been so good to us and already won over a million dollars,” Graham said.

“It would be fantastic for him to win a Group One and he deserves it.

“I would just like to thank Barry and his staff who have been fantastic.

“To be able to trust someone with your best horse says it all.”

Graham said she would look at ways to get to Queensland for the race but realised she had to abide by the rules.

“Of course I would love to be there but you have to do the right thing in these times,” she said.

Trainer Steve Tregea is also looking for a Stradbroke jockey for Niccanova who finished strongly.

“I knew he was going well but he actually wanted to over-race in a 1200m race,” Tregea said

“Watch him over 1400m in a fortnight.”

Deep Image did his Stradbroke chances no harm after sitting deep throughout.

Outback Barbie was a strong fourth but will need things to fall her way to make the final 18-horse field for the Stradbroke.

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