The 2019-20 VOBIS Gold Premier Race Series kicks off at The Valley tonight (Friday, 25 October), when six gallopers – including VOBIS pin-up boy Widgee Turf – will contest the Chandler Macleod VOBIS Gold Star (1500m).
With a first prize of $82,500 up for grabs and a Super VOBIS bonus of $30,000 on offer to the winning connections, Patrick Payne’s evergreen gelding could take his career earnings past the $1.3 million mark with victory in the opening leg of the 18-race Series.
Widgee Turf’s rivals include the 2018 VOBIS Gold Star winner Iconoclasm, who finished second behind Prince Of Sussex in the VOBIS prizemoney and bonus table last season with earnings in excess of $375,000.
Four-year-old gelding Rich Itch, trained by Shawn Mathrick and ridden by Dwayne Dunn, is aiming for back-to-back wins tonight after taking out the Listed Paris Lane Stakes (1400m) at Flemington on Saturday, 5 October.
Amadeus (trained by Mick Kent), Looks Like Elvis (Bryan Dais) and Esposito Gold (Robert Kingston) complete a competitive field for the $150,000 race, which is due off at 7pm.
The Premier Race Series, which boasts a record $4.68 million in prizemoney and bonuses this season, is open to all VOBIS Gold-nominated horses and includes races for all ages, and across a range of distances, on metropolitan and regional tracks.
The VOBIS Gold Star will be followed by the $205,000 VOBIS Gold Eureka Stockade (1400m) for three-year-olds, which will be run on Sportsbet Ballarat Cup Day on November 23.
The series is highlighted by the second edition of the $1 million ‘The Showdown’ and the new $500,000 VOBIS Sires race for three-year-olds, both of which will be run on Victorian Owners and Breeders Raceday at Caulfield on 18 April, 2020.
To view the full 2019-20 VOBIS Gold Premier Race Series and for further information on the VOBIS program, please visit www.racingvictoria.com.au/vobis