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Pre-Stradbroke hit-out for The Virginian

Trainer Toby Edmonds has no qualms about The Virginian backing up in the Stradbroke Handicap a week after he contests the Group Two Moreton Cup at Doomben.

Edmonds believes Saturday’s 1200m-sprint will tune him up for his Group One assignment.

The Virginian ran third in the 2016 Stradbroke as a $101 chance but he is among the favourites for this year’s race.

The gelding was having his first start in eight months when he made short work of a class field in the Listed Chief De Beers Stakes at Doomben on May 20.

“He had two trials before his comeback run including a good hit-out when he won at Deagon,” Edmonds said.

“But I think a run on Saturday will top him off nicely.”

The Virginian has 52kg in the Stradbroke and is No. 18 on the order of entry.

He looks assured of a start in the Stradbroke and Edmonds is hoping jockey Jim Byrne will stick with him.

“Jim put his hand up to ride him after they combined to win the Chief de Beers. He was really impressed with the run,” Edmonds said.

Byrne is having a big season in feature races having won six Brisbane stakes races this season including the Group One Doomben 10,000 on Redzel.

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