The Courier Mail’s Nathan Exelby has Srikandi on top of his 2015 Victory Stakes tips and he believes that the talented mare is the horse to beat in the Group 2 event at the Gold Coast tomorrow.
Srikandi stamped herself as a filly to watch when she won the Listed Silk Stocking (1200m) at this meeting 12 months ago and she went on to take out the Listed Juanmo Stakes (1200m) at Doomben on May 17 and the Group 3 Glenlogan Park Stakes (1350m) a week later before she finished a gallant third in the Group 1 Stradbroke Handicap (1400m) at Eagle Farm on June 7.
The Dubawi mare has not been seen at the races since her run in the Stradbroke Handicap and Exelby told RSN that she is a slight risk first-up, but he is still happy to label the four-year-old as the horse to beat in the Victory Stakes.
“She is a very popular horse Srikandi and she gained a huge following up here last year,” Exelby said.
“It was at this meeting up here that she stamped herself as a real Carnival prospect.
“They weren’t happy with her in the spring time and Ciaron Maher decided to turn her out and keep her nice and fresh for another Carnival tilt here.
“I think that he has found a nice race for her to resume in.
“Ten of the 12 are 300 plus days between wins, so that tells you something about the race, and I think that she is entitled to be top pick.
“Whether you are prepared to take $3.80 off the long break is the question.”
Temple Of Boom is another horse that is set to return to the races for the Victory Stakes and Exelby believes that the Piccolo gelding is the major danger to Srikandi in the Group 2 event.
The veteran sprinter has not been seen at the races since he failed to fire in the Group 1 Darley Classic (1200m) at Flemington during the 2014 Melbourne Spring Racing Carnival, but Exelby believes there is nothing to suggest the popular galloper won’t fire in the Victory Stakes.
“I think that Temple Of Boom will race well,” Exelby said.
“He is drawn beautifully, it was a good run behind Chautauqua first-up last preparation, he won this race last year and then he was consistent right through the carnival.
“There is no reason he won’t run well again.”
Srikandi is currently available at 2015 Victory Stakes odds of $4.50 with Ladbrokes and is a narrow favourite from Ball Of Muscle ($5), Knoydart ($5), Temple Of Boom ($6) and River Lad ($9).