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Count De Rupee snares Victory Stakes

Sat 30 April 2022

The father-and-son training combination of Robert and Luke Price have captured this year’s Group 2 Victory Stakes as Count De Rupee claimed the biggest win of his career.

Prior to today, Count De Rupee had placed just once at stakes level, despite his victory in The TAB Gong last year and runner-up finish in the Golden Eagle, taking his career prize money past $2.5 million in the process.

While the thriller from Chinchilla, Rothfire, was a sentimental favourite with Queensland punters, Count De Rupee proved too strong in the weight-for-age sprint, overpowering Scallopini.

Jamaea finished third for the Price stable, capping off a remarkable race, while Rothfire, who was brave in his return from yet another lengthy stint on the sidelines, was beaten into fifth by stablemate Startantes.

Having run second last start in the Group 3 Randwick Hall Mark Stakes, Luke Price indicated a tilt at the Group 1 Doomben 10,000 could well be on the cards.

“I've got a big rap on this horse,” he said.

“It's been well said that we went to the Newmarket first up and the TJ Smith second up. We were just having a terrible program at home with the wet tracks and getting the horses worked how we needed to get them worked.

“He went to the Warwick Farm trials before that race last start, he switched on and we knew the horse was still going well. After the run the other day, when he ran second, he'd just done extremely well.

“We were going to go to the Doomben 10,000 but we thought ‘let's get the horse's confidence up’ and let's get him to Queensland and win a race with him and it's gone to plan.

“He is a serious racehorse, he's a very serious racehorse. I haven't ridden many horses as good as this. I think we've still got a lot more to come.”

As they swung around the corner, Jamaea was at least eight lengths off Rothfire but flashed home for third.

Brock Ryan took the shortest route to home near the rail as he drove Count De Rupee past Scallopini on the line.

“He’s an amazing horse and I’ve had so much luck on him, success,” Ryan said.

“I was feeling sick when I was four pairs back (on) the fence mid-race, and then it felt like I was going to spew at the furlong when I had no run.

“Lucky I had a pretty good horse with a good turn of foot underneath me to get the job done.”