R6 Victory Stakes 1200m G2 WFA

The Track

The track is currently a Soft 7 with fine weather forecast through Friday & Saturday (24-25c). That should see it get to a Soft 6 (officially), but we suspect the well-publicised problems with the surface means it could race more like a heavy track.

After a six week break we are entitled to be optimistic about a much more even and fair racing surface, but comments arising out of track gallops during the week suggest it’s till in terrible shape. If history is a guide then expect the inside ground closer to the fence to be a big disadvantage and those running on down the middle to be much better suited.

In this small field that will hopefully not be an issue and every horse will get the opportunity to find suitable ground.


Speed and Tactics

Takedown (5) has the opportunity to cross and take control of this race and only has to contend with Miss Cover Girl (2) who may also be ridden with intent to try and lead herself.

Music Magnate (7) should work across and settle just off them.

With a clear lack of pressure in the early stages, the pace will come down to how T Clark on Takedown and D J Browne on Miss Cover Girl decide to rate their mounts. In the expected conditions its likely they’ll want to be somewhat conservative early, so the pace should be moderate.

Early Pace Rating: Moderate

Late Pace Rating: Above Average to Solid

Best Suited: Lead to 3L off the lead.


WFA Performance Ratings – Winning Benchmark

The lead up form and overall profile of key contenders in this race suggests the winner will need to rate in the 99 – 101 range to win.

This is a very tricky race with the two best performed horses Music Magnate and Takedown coming off poor recent runs, perhaps excusable due to Heavy track conditions.


Race Assessment

2, Music Magnate: Forecast 97-101. Assessed $2.80

He’s a difficult horse to assess here because his last two runs have been poor, but both were on Heavy 10 at Randwick. A recent 6L trial wins suggests he might be back to his best, but the figures in the trial were just OK on the day, so I’m not totally convinced. A 101.5 first up rating says if he can rebound then he’s the likely winner, but there are far better short priced favourites going around each week than one that has been beaten 12L and 6L at his last two starts.

1. takedown: Forecast 96-101. Assessed $3.80

He certainly has the ratings to win this race, but his best figures are all on Good ground and he did fail first up on a Heavy 8 at Randwick. That provides plenty of reason to be cautious about him on this shifty Eagle Farm surface. It wouldn’t surprise me at all if he won, but I couldn’t possibly back him with confidence.

7. Tumbler: Forecast 96-99.5. Assessed $4.80

He’s the emerging horse in this race that is yet to rate as high as the top chances, but the profile that clearly says he could get to that level. He’s won six from seven so far and what stands out in his form is that in his last three wins he’s been terribly suited by settling off a very slow pace, but has been able to run them down thanks to a great turn of foot and sustained 600m speed. This race is by far his toughest test, but it will give him a little more pace early while still moderate enough for him to stay in touch and that’s the ideal scenario for these types of horses to run to a new career peak. He may find the others too classy, but in a race where the top two favourites are coming off a poor recent run, Tumbler represents a good gamble.

3.Hopfgarten: Forecast 95-99. Assessed $7.50

First up here, but his last two fresh runs have been very good, stamped by a strong finishing sprint. If he can produce that turn of foot here then he’s capable of being somewhere in the finish.

6. Miss Cover girl: Forecast 90-98. Assessed $26

First up here and only has one career rating that is good enough to be competitive.

4. sony Legend: Forecast 89-94. Assessed $101

Yet to get anywhere near the ratings that will be needed to be competitive in this race.


Betting Strategy

 BACK (WIN) Tumbler at $5.30+ Stake 1% of your total bank.


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