Victorem to step up to Group class

victorem
Country Championship winner Victorem will step up to Group Three company in the Hawkesbury Guineas.

Victorem has already won the richest prize for country horses and will be out to consolidate his reputation when he takes on Group company for the first time.

Trained at Port Macquarie by Jenny Graham, Victorem was a decisive winner of the $500,000 Country Championship final at Randwick on April 7.

He will be brought south again, this time for Saturday’s Hawkesbury Guineas over 1400m, the same distance as his most recent start.

The winner of five of his six starts, Victorem is the highest-rated of the 11 entries for the Guineas, one of three Group Three races at the annual Saturday metropolitan class meeting at Hawkesbury on Sydney’s north-western outskirts.

“He came through the Country Championships really well,” Graham said.

“The Port Macquarie track is closed for three weeks and we took him to Kempsey where the club kindly allowed us to gallop this morning.

“I’m really pleased with him and the set weights of the Guineas suits.

“Hopefully we get a good barrier and he can win again.”

Graham said she and the owners would look to take Victorem to Brisbane for more stakes races as long as he performed well at Hawkesbury.

“We will probably assess things after Saturday,” she said.

“I think he will get further than 1400 metres so we will look at the options.”

Veterans Destiny’s Kiss and Ecuador head the 15 entries for the Hawkesbury Gold Cup (1600m).

The competition to get into the other Group Three race on the program, the Godolphin Crown (1300m), is stiffer with 26 fillies and mares entered to fill 14 spots.

They are headed by Godolphin’s Ghisoni and Nancy who are rated 100 with local Spright’ on a benchmark of 99.

The 2017 Godolphin Crown went to the Chris Waller-trained Shillelagh who cemented her form later in the year with victory in the Group One Cantala Stakes at Flemington.

Dual Group One placegetter Spieth is among the entries for the Listed Gold Rush (1100m) and is also nominated for the Group Two Victory Stakes (1200m) at Doomben as he prepares for his first start for Lindsay Park.