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Drying conditions to test Speediness in Victory Stakes

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Caulfield trainer Colin Scott fears the drying conditions in South East Queensland will go against the chances of Speediness in Saturday’s Group 2 $200,000 SMEG Victory Stakes (1200m) at the Gold Coast.

A drying track at the Gold Cost is not what Speediness needs in the Victory Stakes. Photo by Race Horse Photos Australia.

A drying track at the Gold Cost is not what Speediness needs in the Victory Stakes. Photo by Race Horse Photos Australia.

Scott was hoping for a rain affected track earlier in the week but with no rain in the last couple of days the Gold Coast track is currently rated a soft 5 and with no more rain forecast for the weekend it is likely to be rated in the good range.

Speediness appreciates the sting out of the ground but has failed to find a wet track since the 2014 Sydney Autumn Carnival when the seven year old finished second to Gordon Lord Byron in the Group 1 $1m George Ryder Stakes (1500m) at Rosehill.

But then he failed at his next run on a Heavy 9 when eleventh to Sacred Falls in the Group 1 $3m The Star Doncaster Mile (1600m) at Randwick.

All six runs during the Melbourne Spring Carnival were on good and firm tracks and Scott said that the ground was just too hard for him to perform at his best although he was runner up to Trust In A Gust in the Group 1 $400,000 David Jones NBCF Toorak Handicap (1600m) at Caulfield on a Good 3.

“Craig (Williams) got off the horse one day and said mate this horse could dry up the Yarra,” Scott told Racing HQ.

“He can certainly keep it dry.”

“Unfortunately it is highly unlikely that he will never race in Melbourne again just because their tracks just dry too well. The new drainage they put in doesn’t sort of matter how much rain they get a couple of days before, if they get a couple of fine days they are back to hard again.”

“These older tracks that don’t have the new drainage in them they certainly are a bit better for the horses.”

Scott is happy with the way that Speediness has settle into his new surrounding at the Sunshine Coast and is looking to competing at the Gold Coast on the weekend.

“Absolutely fantastic. Couldn’t be happier with him, settled in, ate up his first night, very bright and well and his work on Tuesday was exceptional. I am really looking forward to it,” Scott said.

“Ideally we would like a slow 6 or a slow 7, but obviously that is not going to happen.”

“As long as it is not rock hard.  And first up he will still go on it. We will most likely space his runs. If he does strike a firm track he has a month to get over it anyway.”

Speediness will be up against smart mare Srikandi in the Victory Stakes and the pair finished together in a Caulfield jump out before he headed to Queensland.

“There was Srikandi and a couple of other handy ones and I thought that both horses trialled exceptionally well,” Scott said.

“Srikandi and Speediness sort of drew away from the rest of the field, they probably put a good two, three or four lengths on them.”

‘They run good time and there wasn’t a lot between them at all. They were both asked to do a similar amount.”

“Srikandi has had another trial since then but we are up here safe and sound. All signs are good.”

Scott is happy with the fitness of Speediness going into Victory Stakes first up and expects him run a good race.

“He’s wound up. There won’t be any excuses for him, he has done the work he needs to do.”

Speediness is marked as an $11 chance for the Victory Stakes with Ladbrokes.com.au while Srikandi heads the market order at $4.50.

Last year’s Victory Stakes winner Temple Of Boom shares the next line of betting with Knoydart and Ball Of Muscle at $5 with 2014 Stradbroke Handicap winner River Lad at $9.

Victory Stakes market order at Ladbrokes.com.au: $4.50 Srikandi, $5 Temple Of Boom, Knoydart, Ball Of Muscle, $9 River Lad, $11 Speediness, $15 Rocket To Glory, Cape Kidnappers, $17 Hidden Warrior, $26 Alma’s Fury, $51 Danes On Stars, $61 Whittington.

About The Author

Mark Mazzaglia

Mark is a passionate journalist with a life-time involvement in the racing industry. He spent many years as an analyst and form expert at the Courier Mail and also has hands-on experience working with some of Queensland’s top trainers.

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