Horse racing: Port Macquarie trainer Jenny Graham aims for spot in Country Championship final

In form: Victorem will head into Sunday's Country Championship qualifier in Port Macquarie aiming for his fourth win in five starts for trainer Jenny Graham. Photo: Ivan Sajko
In form: Victorem will head into Sunday's Country Championship qualifier in Port Macquarie aiming for his fourth win in five starts for trainer Jenny Graham. Photo: Ivan Sajko

SHOULD Victorem finish first past the post on Sunday, it will be the culmination of months of hard work for Port Macquarie trainer Jenny Graham.

In the Country Championships qualifier over 1200 metres at Port Macquarie, the highly-fancied three-year-old will line up alongside another two from the Graham stable.

Five-year-old Portatorio and three-year-old Awesome Pluck will also give Graham a chance of qualifying for the final at Royal Randwick on April 7.

The top two in the feature race at Port Macquarie Race Club will progress.

It will be a busy day for Graham who concedes it will be high pressured, but she’s looking forward to it.

“It probably does add a bit of extra pressure when you have three (horses) in the same race because you’d like all horses to run well for the different owners,” she said.

“I’m lucky enough that I feel all three of them are a good chance of winning the race.”

Victorem has had four starts for three wins and will start as a hot favourite in race seven, but things don’t always go according to plan.

In his first race at Casino, the three-year-old slipped to last before jockey Ben Looker’s performance saw him surge home to finish fourth.

Graham knows luck plays a significant role in any race, but more so in the pressure of a Country Championship qualifying race.

She can only do so much to get her horses to the barrier when she then crosses her fingers and hopes.

“We’ve done all the work that we need to do; we’re just hoping things pan out the way we’d like it and then go from there,” the trainer said.

Three of the best: Portatorio, foreman Shane Conroy, Awesome Pluck and Victorem with trainer Jenny Graham.

Three of the best: Portatorio, foreman Shane Conroy, Awesome Pluck and Victorem with trainer Jenny Graham.

“The right horse, luck and barriers all play an important role so just to be drawn well would be great.

“It would be one of the best results in my training career to get a win on Sunday.”

It does add a bit of extra pressure when you have three (horses) in the same race because you’d like all horses to run well.

Trainer Jenny Graham

Graham has Mid North Coast blood running through her veins after she grew up in Wauchope on a dairy farm.

It was that upbringing that introduced her to the country lifestyle and she hasn’t looked back.

“My parents had a dairy farm so naturally we grew up on the land and then I was in pony club and campdrafting and showjumping and all that sort of thing,” she said.

“Eventually I just went into the racing industry and have been in the horse industry basically all my life.”

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