Few people in Queensland racing circles are surprised Caloundra gelding Victory Eight has been the quiet achiever of the winter carnival.
After all, his trainer Trevor Miller has been a a key player in the state’s racing industry with no fuss for decades.
Victory Eight, who has won his past two starts in impressive fashion, steps up to open company in the TAB Handicap (1800m) at Eagle Farm on Saturday.
The gelding is the latest in a long line of smart horses to come out of Miller’s Caloundra stables.
Miller originally trained at Cunnamulla in western Queensland before moving to a Caloundra base in 1986.
He has since trained about 1200 winners with at least 800 of them at the Sunshine Coast track where he has been premier trainer 12 times.
Along the way Miller has had a long list of stakes winners including Heavenly Knight, Whale Of A Knight, King Latarmiss, Baal Yabba, Seek Glory, Gilded Queen and Waterford Road.
Miller, now 76, has retained his laconic country style of humour and also kept his eye for a good horse.
He has been adamant for some time Victory Eight would win in at least open company.
Victory Eight did his early racing in Victoria for the Ciaron Maher-David Eustace training partnership and won at Bairnsdale before heading north to Miller.
The gelding has since won seven races including his past two starts in metropolitan benchmark races at the Sunshine Coast and Doomben.
“He won on a very heavy track at the Sunshine Coast and a few people wanted to label him just a wet track horse,” Miller said.
“But he showed in his Doomben win on a good track he is a bit more than that.”
Miller has been wanting to try Victory Eight at a middle distance this campaign.
“He is a half-brother to Cylinder Beach who showed a lot of promise as a stayer,” he said.
“Victory Eight races like a horse who will get a trip and 1800m is a good way to start off.”
The Desleigh Forster trainer Cylinder Beach showed enormous talent as a stayer winning the Toowoomba Cup before breaking down in the O’Shea Stakes two years ago.
Victory Eight is yet to start on the new Eagle Farm track but Miller sees no problems.
“He has shown he is a big track horse at the Sunshine Coast so he should get his chance on Saturday,” Miller said.
Jim Byrne will ride Victory Eight who has drawn barrier five in a field of nine.