Queensland’s Group Two Victory Stakes at Eagle Farm on Saturday has a long and varied history, and this year it takes on an even more important role in winter racing.
The Victory Stakes (1200m) is usually one of only three weight-for-age races in Queensland and was originally named the Sir Byrne Hart Stakes.
Although won by some top horses including Rough Habit, for many years the race had the reputation of producing big priced winners.
However, since it was switched to the start of the winter carnival in 2010 it has become a race for genuine Group One horses with its winners including Buffering (three times), Temple of Boom, Srikandi, Music Magnate and Impending.
I Am Excited, who won last year, went on to take the Group One Galaxy at Randwick this autumn.
This year due to the winter carnival being drastically reduced the Victory Stakes has been switched to a set weights and penalties race, as the major lead up to the Group One Stradbroke Hcp on June 6.
It offers ballot free entry to the Stradbroke and a Victory Stakes win is vital for several horses to make the field.
Deep Impact, currently 34th on the Stradbroke ballot, Redouble (36th), Bandipur (39th) Sesar (41st), Freddie Fox Trot (44th) and Chapter and Verse (53rd) would need to win on Saturday to make the Stradbroke field.