Port Macquarie trainer Jenny Graham has amended her plans for stable star Victorem after the gelding’s five-race winning streak ended in the Group Three Hawkesbury Guineas.
Graham had planned to take the three-year-old to Scone for the Listed Luskin Star Stakes (1300m) on May 12.
But a tough run over 1400m for second to the Chris Waller-trained Sambro in Saturday’s Guineas has forced a rethink.
“That will have taken a bit out of him so I’ll probably just slow up a bit and try and place him,” Graham said.
“Backing up in Scone would be too much. That was a pretty tough run so I’ll play it safe.”
Graham said a trip to Queensland was still likely providing Victorem recovered.
“I’ll keep pressing on. We’ll sit back and see how he goes. The Stradbroke is the dream but there are plenty of other options for him,” she said.
Graham was worried pre-race the outside gate would make it difficult for Victorem and her fears were justified when Ben Looker settled the favourite near the tail of the 11-strong field.
“The horse ran super. The other horse just had an easier run than him,” she said.
Looker agreed the outside gate was a disadvantage as Victorem stepped up to Group company for the first time.
“If he drew a gate he probably wins,” Looker said.
“I just had to expose him sooner than I liked and it told late, the winner got him,” he said.
Victorem has won from the widest alley before, albeit against two-year-olds in Grafton last year.
Looker and Victorem took the lead momentarily after ranging wide on the turn but Sambro kicked and won the $200,000 feature by a long neck.
Victorem also shifted in when insufficiently clear of third placegetter Beau Geste near the 100m mark, which cost Looker a careless riding suspension from Wednesday until May 12.