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Brisbane’s leading trained Tony Gollan is hoping for drying weather to produce a good racing surface at Eagle Farm on Saturday when the stable’s top sprinter I’m A Rippa is set to take on dual Everest winner Redzel in the Group 2 $200,000 Victory Stakes (1200m).

I'm A Rippa, above, is set to take on Redzel in the 2019 Victory Stakes at Eagle Farm. Photo by Steve Hart.

I’m A Rippa, above, is set to take on Redzel in the 2019 Victory Stakes at Eagle Farm. Photo by Steve Hart.

Gollan said that I’m A Rippa’s best form is on top of the ground so he scratched the five year old from the Listed $125,000 Ascot Handicap (1200m) at Doomben last Saturday when the track was rated a heavy 8 in the morning.

The last two races on the nine event Doomben meeting were subsequently abandoned when the track deteriorated following rain during the day.

Showers have continued in Brisbane over the long weekend but Gollan is hopeful of some drying conditions later in the week.

“As it turned out it was the right decision.” Gollan told AAP.

“I would have had to scratch them later anyway.

“I’m A Rippa has won on a soft track but he is much better on top of the ground. I didn’t want to give him a gut buster first-up and the option has always been there for the Group Two Victory Stakes on Saturday.

“I know Redzel is coming but I’m A Rippa won’t be out of place in a weight-for-age race like that on a dry track.”

“Eagle Farm is such a good drying track that it should perfect for I’m A Rippa.”

I’m A Rippa is one of twelve sprinters nominated for the Victory Stakes which also includes the Peter and Paul Snowden trained Redzel.

Redzel has proved himself to be one of the best sprinters in the country after winning the first two instalments of The Everest (1200m) at Randwick in 2017 ($10 million) and in 2018 ($13 million).

Redzel is struggling to find his best form and failed to win from three starts during the 2019 Sydney Autumn Carnival and heads to Brisbane on the back of a last start sixth to Santa Ana Lane in the Group 1 $2.5m Aquis T J Smith Stakes (1200m) at Randwick on Day One of The Championships on April 6.

Redzel found the front in the early stages of the T J Smith Stakes but failed to hold out the challengers in the straight and jockey Kerrin McEvoy is confident the six year old can find his old winning form again.

“He travelled well for the first part of the race, span his wheels a little bit around the corner which had me worried and his effort was short lived in the straight. He’s better than that and hopefully we can get him back on track,” McEvoy said after the T J Smith Stakes.

Early betting at Ladbrokes.com.au for the 2019 Victory Stakes sees Redzel as the $1.75 favourite ahead of Encryption and Winter Bride at $5.50 while I’m A Rippa is marked at $13.

Betting for the 2019 Victory Stakes at Ladbrokes.com.au: $1.75 Redzel, $5.50 Encryption, Winter Bride, $7.50 Jonker, $9 I Am Excited, $13 I’m A Rippa, $17 Music Magnate, $21 Chapter And Verse, Stella Victoria, Fiery Heights, $67 Malvern Estate, $81 Havasay.

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.