HE hasn’t raced for five months, but Port Macquarie trainer Jenny Graham feels Victorem is primed for a shot (and a share) at $1.3 million at Royal Randwick on Saturday.
The four-year-old gelding will line up in the Kosciuszko on Everest Day in his first race since a second-place finish at the Hawkesbury Guineas on April 28.
Since then, the preparation has been about ensuring he will be in the best condition for the second running of the Kosciuszko.
“He’s trialled really well; he’s a real fresh horse so I think he’ll be very competitive without a (recent) race,” Graham said.
When asked whether the time between races was a positive or a negative, Graham said it would suit the Country Championship winner.
“He’s got a very good turn of foot and he’s quite relaxed this time in so I think he’ll show that,” she said.
“I feel he’s a very competitive horse; he does want to win which is really important going into a race like this.”
Graham said she was feeling relaxed ahead of the trip to Sydney although she expected that to change closer to the start of the race.
“It would be wonderful to get him over the line on Saturday,” Graham said.
“I really can’t explain how good it would be, but we’re in there and in there with a chance so I’m happy with that.”
Forecasters have predicted showery conditions for most of the week and into the weekend.
Graham knows she can’t control the weather, but wasn’t concerned about the prospect of the heavens opening.
“He does handle the soft conditions,” she said.
“I would prefer a drier track because that turn of foot he does have is shown a bit better on a drier track for sure.”
Jockey Ben Looker will attempt to replicate his success when he steered the gelding to victory in the Country Championship final.
“I think Ben’s got so much confidence in the horse which helps and the horse knows him so let’s go,” Graham said.
A top three finish was the result the trainer was hopeful of.
“As long as he (Victorem) runs a great race for the connections and the slot holders I’ll be pleased,” she said.
“Ideally I’d like him to finish in the first three, but in racing things can happen and they don’t always go your way.
“Hopefully they will that day.”
On Wednesday morning, Awesome Pluck became Graham’s second runner in The Kosciuszko when Care To Think had to be withdrawn.
Awesome Pluck has drawn barrier one, while Victorem will jump from barrier four at 2.50pm.