Graham Has Victorem Chasing Elusive Kosciuszko Crown

He was once the ‘Country King’ and after a Group 1 winter campaign trainer Jenny Graham is looking forward to Victorem having a chance reclaim his crown with a third shot at The Kosciuszko later this year.

Trainer Jenny Graham (Pic: Bradley Photos)

Victorem, the 2018 Country Championships winner, heads a quartet of horses the Port Macquarie trainer is hoping to put on a path towards the $1.3 million country feature at Randwick on October 16.

Whether the rising seven-year-old, who ran fifth in the inaugural Kosciuszko and second in 2019, tackles the race first-up or not is yet to be confirmed but Graham concedes she may have to take on the Everest horses if he has a lead-up run.

“I would like to try and get a run under his belt but it is difficult to find a lead up for him,’’ she said.

“We may have to go in a race like The Shorts, otherwise we might have a couple of trials. You’ve got to be rock solid fit going into these races.”

Already Group 2 winner, Victorem has been racing at the top level this year and had two shots at a Group 1 success in Brisbane including a one length fifth in the Group 1 Kingsford-Smith Cup (1300m) and he was beaten 2.6 lengths in the Stradbroke Handicap.

He also finished a length third to Splintex in the Group 3 Hall Mark Stakes (1200m) in April and placed behind Everest runner Masked Crusader in February.

Graham said the gelding has returned to her stable from a few weeks break at the Gold Coast.

“I didn’t want to leave it too long so he’ll tick along here and hopefully it won’t take long to build his fitness up again,’’ she said.

“He ran some great races and credible enough to be competitive in a Kosciuszko for sure.

“He’s a great horse, he races very honestly if there’s nothing wrong with him. At the moment I couldn’t be happier with him, he’s just buzzing.”

Victorem is equal second favourite with TAB at $6, alongside another Country Championships winner Art Cadeau, in the all-in Kosciuszko market.

It’s fair to say Graham’s support trio still need to prove themselves up to the Kosciuszko level but she said The Drake, Nicci Trix and Innervoice will be given that chance in the coming months.

“The Drake won well the other day (at Grafton) and he’s just a good money spinning horse,’’ Graham said.

“He’s a good country horse and if he was going into the race he could be competitive.”

Nicci Trix has won three of her seven starts and was last seen running fourth in a Highway on June 5.

Graham says she may be 12 months off being at her best but she’s in no doubt that the talent is there.

And Innervoice is another lightly raced rising four-year-old who has won two from eight and contested a Country Championships Qualifier at her last start.

“Nicci Trix has quite a lot of ability. She’s doing a bit of light work now, she doesn’t take a lot of work,’’ she said.

“Innervoice has got a bit bigger and stronger, she’s quite a sharp filly. Naturally she would have to prove herself but I’m happy enough with her going forward.”

Racing NSW – your home of live racing, form, tips and the latest news.

Photo credit: Bradley Photos