Ball Of Muscle and Srikandi are both available at 2015 Victory Stakes odds of $5 and the talented duo are currently locked in a battle for favouritism in the Group 2 event at the Gold Coast on Saturday.
Srikandi was one of the star performers of the 2014 Brisbane Winter Racing Carnival after she recorded impressive victories in the Listed Silk Stocking (1200m), Listed Juanmo Stakes (1200m) and Group 3 Glenlogan Park Stakes (1350m), but she has not been seen at the races since she finished a gallant third behind River Lad in the Group 1 Stradbroke Handicap (1400m) in June last year.
Trainer Ciaron Maher elected to give Srikandi a lengthy stint in the spelling paddock and he has set the Dubawi mare for the Group 1 BTC Cup (1200m) on May 9, the Group 1 Doomben 10,000 (1350m) on May 23 and the Group 1 Stradbroke Handicap (1400m) on June 6.
Ball Of Muscle is a progressive sprinter that returned to the races with a close defeat at the hands of Hard Romp in the 3AW Community Raceday Handicap (1000m) at Flemington on April 11 and has also been set for the Stradbroke Handicap.
The four-year-old originally opened at Victory Stakes odds of $5.50 but was quickly backed into $5, while Srikandi opened as a clear favourite at $4.40 and has drifted out to $5.
Temple Of Boom returned to winning form when he upset half-brother Spirit Of Boom to win the Victory Stakes and he is priced at $5.50 to join Swiss Ace (2008 and 2009) and Buffering (2011 and 2013) as the only two-time winners of the race.
The Piccolo gelding has not been seen at the races since he finished towards the tail of the field in the Group 1 Darley Classic (1200m) during the 2014 Spring Racing Carnival, but he has a good first-up record and trainer Tony Gollan is confident that the eight-year-old is ready to perform well fresh.
Knoydart has flown under the radar heading into the Victory Stakes, but he is currently on the fourth line of betting at a quote of $6.
The More Than Ready gelding returned to racing with a promising fourth in the Group 2 Challenge Stakes (1000m) at Royal Randwick on March 7 and he did not have a great deal of luck when sixth in the Group 1 The Galaxy (1100m) at Rosehill Gardens a fortnight later.
River Lad failed to fire during the 2014 Spring Racing Carnival, but the 2014 Stradbroke Handicap winner is currently available at a quote of $7.50 to make a winning return to racing, while Colin Scott-trained Speediness is the only other galloper available at single figure Victory Stakes odds and is priced at $9 – even though he has no recorded a race win in the past 18 months.
The best-backed runner in the 2015 Victory Stakes betting market with Ladbrokes is last start winner Rocket To Glory, who is into $15 after opening at $21 when the Victory Stakes field was released yesterday.