You could be mistaken to think that Viddora has always been a Victorian at heart thanks to her navy blue and white V silks – those worn by Victorian football sides across the country.
But as a matter of fact, her first-up tilt in Friday night’s $500,000 Charter Keck Cramer Moir Stakes will be her first out of the white shorts. And while her Morphettville base was previously some 8-hours from The Valley, she’s no stranger to the tight circumference.
“She hasn’t won at The Valley but some of her best races have come in her five starts there,” her trainer Lloyd Kennewell explained.
“It’s a combination of the tight corners and the StrathAyr track I think and she must just love the nightlife.”
One race at The Valley however that sticks out in Kennewell’s mind is the Moir Stakes of 2017, when Viddora was beaten in the final stride by She Will Reign, robbing his young trainer of his first Group 1 success.
“Where I sit in the grandstand I thought she had won and even the cameraman thought so too,” revealed Kennewell.
12 months later Kennewell and his mare are back for revenge.
“The horse is in perfect order and going every bit as good as last year”.
“She’s in tip-top show and ready to run a really, really big race,” expressed Kennewell.
A winning trial at Cranbourne, jump out at Caulfield and two gallops at The Valley have the daughter of I Am Invincible forward for Friday night, with the Ladbrokes Manikato Stakes and The Everest on the radar this campaign.
The Valley is now much closer to home for the 35-year-old, who with his wife and children has recently moved to Caulfield. The stable has 18 boxes, which will increase to room for 30 horses in December, with 23 horses still based in South Australia. The state of SA is where Kennewell has made a name for himself with over 200 winners and where he was the youngest registered trainer in the state at just 21.
“The Valley been a good hunting ground for me and I enjoy racing there and the owners love the atmosphere, it’s very enjoyable and I’ll certainly be targeting horses there,” Kennewell explained.
Viddora, now a six-year-old mare, was a $40,000 purchase at the 2014 Magic Millions Adelaide Yearling Sale, has now won over $2 million in prizemoney and eight wins to her name, catapulting her trainer into the spotlight.
“She has certainly been a good showcase for what our stable can do and opened a few new doors and been the cherry on top for a successful few years,” Kennewell said.
It hasn’t taken the new Victorian trainer long to pick up on Melbourne’s football culture either and he is bound for the MCG on Saturday.
“I barrack for Adelaide so after getting beaten last year in the Moir and then Adelaide losing, that was tough, but I’m originally from Perth so I’ll be barracking for West Coast,” Kennewell said.
You can bet your bottom dollar the Eagles won’t be the only thing Kennewell is cheering this weekend.