A good barrier draw has made all the difference to top NSW country horse Victorem who won the Listed Lough Neagh Stakes at Doomben.
Victorem, who won the NSW Country Championship at Randwick in April, has since been dogged by bad barriers and wet tracks.
Trainer Jenny Graham was delighted when Victorem drew barrier two in the stakes race but was worried when heavy rain was predicted.
As it turned out the rain didn’t come and Victorem ($2.80) got the run of the race before scoring by 3-3/4 lengths to a brave I’m A Rippa ($7) with a short head to Dreams A Plenty ($61) in third place.
Port Macquarie-based Graham said Victorem deserved to win a big race this summer and she hoped there was more to come.
“He has been running well in his two previous starts here but he has had no luck from wide barriers,” Graham said.
“He has been running home quickly but giving away too big a start.”
“Today we were able to ride him a lot closer and then he had them covered quickly. It worked out the way we talked about.”
Graham said Victorem would now press on to the Listed Buffering Stakes at Doomben in two weeks.
“It is also at 1350m and that should suit him very well,” Graham said.
Winning jockey Dale Smith said he had the run of the race after doing some work early to hold his place.
“He is a pretty special horse and he showed it today,” Smith said.
Brad Stewart, who rode I’m A Rippa, said his mount had been brave after setting the pace.