Victory Red's ideal trip for Highway

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October 27, 2017 - 05:42 PM

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Stephen Jones admits appearances are deceiving when you evaluate Victory Red.

"He looks like a sprinter to be honest with you, so we started him over a couple of sprint distances and he didn't show a great deal," Jones said.

The Scone trainer eventually realised the three-year-old had staying qualities through his dam Heightened, a daughter of a Sir Tristram mare, paving the way to step him up in distance,

After two unplaced starts, Victory Red went to a non-TAB meeting at Mendooran to win over 1500m.

He then won over 1720m at Barraba and 1600m at Tamworth.

"It was getting to the stage where there was a bit of doubt then as soon as we stepped him up, up he got," Jones said.

A former jockey who has trained in Sydney and on the Gold Coast, Jones decided to take Victory Red to Randwick for Saturday's Highway Handicap (1800m) for country-trained horses after his latest victory.

"We ran him well above his grade at Tamworth and he came up aces," Jones said.

Jones feels the wet track and Victory Red carrying 50kg after Brock Ryan claims 3kg can offset the outside gate in the field of 14.

"A wet track won't hurt us. It could make it tougher on the top weights," he said.

The Highway Handicap's most prolific trainer, Matt Dunn, is represented by a strong trio comprising favourite Ready For Danger, Dia De Reys and Devil's Fire.