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Godolphin are throwing last start maiden winner Vilana into the deep end at Flemington

James Cummings and the Godolphin team have a healthy opinion of Vilana but question whether the bigger spring races may come too soon.

The three-year-old son of Hallowed Crown runs in the Listed Exford Plate (1400m) at Flemington on Saturday coming off a last start win in a maiden at Sandown on August 25.

Vilana won narrowly that day over 1200m with the runner-up, Frontman, coming out to score a comfortable win in maiden company at Mornington on Thursday.

The Anthony and Sam Freedman-trained Frontman was also an acceptor for Saturday’s race but has already been scratched.

Cummings said Vilana was a nice type and would one day be capable of winning a good race, but it was too early in his career to be considering next month’s Group 1 Caulfield Guineas for which Godolphin already has Anamoe being aimed at it.

But that does not mean Vilana would not be capable of being competitive at stakes level during the spring carnival with a host of suitable three-year-old races for developing horses.

“He is an interesting horse,” Cummings said.

“You would have to imagine he’s got further scope for improvement and is a horse worth following.

“I think he could get to other suitable races, like a Gothic Stakes or even a Sandown Guineas.”

Damien Oliver, who rode Vilana to victory at Sandown, retains the ride on Saturday.

Vilana carries 57kg on Saturday and will be in receipt of only 2.5kg from the topweight Artorius who is a two-time winner from five starts including the Group 1 Blue Diamond Stakes (1200m) at Caulfield last autumn.

Artorius resumed with a second placing in the Group 3 McNeil Stakes (1200m) at Caulfield on August 28 and has a stranglehold on betting for Saturday’s race as the $1.65 favourite with TAB.

Vilana is currently a $17 chance.

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