Country champ back from injury break

Port Macquarie trainer Jenny Graham is optimistic she’s done enough with her stable star Victorem ahead of his return at Randwick on Saturday.

The son of I Am Invincible has been off the scene since last year’s Stradbroke Handicap.

The gelding had a bone chip removed from his off-side fetlock in June last year after pulling up lame following Queensland’s premier race.

Graham has given the six-year-old a long and slow build-up to his return.

Jenny Graham. Photo: Mark Evans/Getty Images.Source:Getty Images

“Naturally he’s not fully wound up but he’s good,” Graham said. “I’m happy with how he’s coming up.

“He’s done plenty of work but there’s noting like match practice, he’s getting older and it’s been a while since he’s been to the races.”

Victorem kicked off his preparation in the Group 3 Southern Cross Stakes (1200m) on Saturday but it’s a Group 1 that his trainer has her sights on.

Victorem has provided Graham with her career biggest wins in the 2018 Country Championships and the 2020 Group 2 Victory Stakes.

Victorem. Photo: Mark Evans/Getty ImagesSource:Getty Images

“I’m half thinking about the Canterbury Stakes,” Graham said. “That’s the race I’d like to have a go at.”

The 1300m weight-for-age event will be run at Randwick on March 6 and Victorem will remain at Rosehill in the lead-up to the feature event.

“He’s staying at Rosehill and he’s settled in really well in the new environment,” Graham said. “He’s on target for the races I’ve got pencilled in.

“Hopefully he will run a great race on Saturday and improve off that.”

James McDonald takes the reins aboard Victorem on Saturday and bookmakers rate the horse as an $11 chance.

Originally published asCountry champ back in action

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