A bumper ten race card has been assembled for Randwick this Saturday where it is Villiers Stakes Day. The weather is fine, the track is good (4) and the rail is in the true position for the entire circuit.
Villiers Stakes 🏆: View the Field and Odds for the Villiers Stakes
Race 1. (12:40) Tab Highway Plate (c3) 1000m
Bit to play out here with a few dual acceptors. As it stands, I’m with 10 Affinity Beyond (Bet Now: $5.00 TOP ODDS) for Luke Pepper. She lit up the Wagga Riverside turf when bolting up there first up, leading throughout and running very fast time, which she has done in winning her past three. Has upside to come, presses forward and I think can measure up.
9 Tejori (Bet Now: $3.90 TOP ODDS) is a Nick Olive trained mare that is a previous Highway winner. Led off the fence when she resumed over 1000m at Kembla. Tried hard but couldn’t quite hold on when second to Miss Dior. Should get a lovely run from the gate and do like the booking of Tommy Berry. One of the hardest to beat here.
Terry Robinson has a fab record in the Highway so giving respect to 5 Zardoro (Bet Now: $21.00 TOP ODDS), who resumes. Hasn’t raced since May 9 in a 1200m Highway here when down the track behind Tejori. Actually meets that horse 1.5kg worse off despite being beaten seven lengths, so on that, can’t see him turning the tables, but first up, no public trial, watch the market.
Race 2. (13:15) Farewell P Webster Highway-c3 1000m
I’m really keen on 7 Bad Boy For Love (Bet Now: $11.00 TOP ODDS) running well here. He’ll need things to fall into place, and luck to go his way, but I reckon he’s flying. Only going off one trial, but it was a super trial when a closing fourth to Viridine and Tiny. Viridine placed at Stakes level fresh and Tiny was an impressive winner last Friday. He’ll sit back off a fast speed and hopefully finish over the top.
1 Toro Toro (Bet Now: $3.50 TOP ODDS) does have a touch of quality about him. Resumes for Stephen Jones and looks ready to go based off his recent Muswellbrook trial win. Was near the speed throughout before being given a flick of rein by Buckley and away he went. Showed good promise last time in and this looks well within his grasp.
3 Siege Warfare (Bet Now: $14.00 TOP ODDS) hasn’t been too far away in Highways in previous preps and looks to have returned well if his win first up at Taree is any guide. He was able to wear them down nearer the inside and was strong. That track was a Soft5, bordering on a Soft6, based on times, so onto a firmer deck here, think he can run a decent race.
Race 3. (13:50) Easternbuilt Hcp (bm72) 1100m
2 Travest (Bet Now: $5.50 TOP ODDS) has got the engine under the hood to give this a shake, but upstairs, he is still learning what it is about. Impressive first up winner when last in work but sort of lost the plot his next couple, as well as a negative steer from Tommy after the resumption. Trial was solid enough…will be fascinating to see what the market does.
Think 1100m is the sweet spot for 4 Deference (Bet Now: $14.00 TOP ODDS) and this does look a nice race for him. Looked the winner when Tommy presented him over 1200m at Newcastle a few weeks ago but he just didn’t quite finish it off and had to settle for a close up third to Bring The Ransom. Like him back to 1100m and is one of the hardest to beat.
I am keen to see how 6 Salina Dreaming (Bet Now: $8.00 TOP ODDS) goes. Resumes for Angela Davies after a solid Winter prep, where she did most of her racing at the provincials and ran quite well each time she stepped out. Loved the way she closed off in a recent Newcastle trial when Bowman steered and he remains on for race day.
Race 4. (14:25) Christmas Cup 2400m
I think this is really good placement by Clare Cunningham with 7 Significance (Bet Now: $5.00 TOP ODDS). This isn’t a strong staying race and he looks the sole speed in the race. He is a horse who races best when he gets total control in front. He didn’t get that last Saturday at Rosehill but was still too good for them. If he can find the front here and get control, he’s going to take some beating because he is 2/3 when leading and dominating to suit himself.
9 Purrfect Deal (Bet Now: $5.00 TOP ODDS) is fresh blood here. Michael Costa looks to have found a really winnable Stakes race for this mare. Didn’t beat much last time out at Doomben, but was dominant. The form can be tied in because the runner up from that race, Torrens, was safely held in Brisbane by He Runs Away. But, she’s lightly raced, with upside, and a turn of foot.
1 Sweet Thomas (Bet Now: $8.50 TOP ODDS) does have these on toast re class. Just a matter of whether or not he’s sharp enough for 2400m. He ran over two miles in the Sandown Cup last time out and stayed on quite well in defeat when fourth to Carif. Interesting that the stable gets J Mac to steer. Will class get him home? Only time will tell.
Race 5. (15:00) Inglis Nursery 1000m
I think there is a bit of value about 6 Mission Value (Bet Now: $14.00), on debut for Mark Newnham. This recent Rosehill, on paper, is nothing to jump up and down about. But what I like to see is when an unraced horse is placed under pressure, that they respond, and he did. Was good through the line and notably, he gets the Blinkers on for the debut, something he didn’t wear in the trial.
11 Ashema (Bet Now: $4.60) has to be respected. Daughter of I Am Invincible for Annabel Neasham that debuts and looks a nice type. Went to the line quite well in a recent Rosehill trial when second to Fake Love in what was the quickest heat of the morning, which included the older horses, so that’s a good sign for me, she draws soft and gets Rachel King steering.
13 Shocking Force (Bet Now: $17.00) is the other I could speck at big odds. Daughter of Air Force Blue for the Clarry Conners stable that debuts. She was first seen in the official 2YO trials on the Kenso track behind Vaccine, and looked to go about her business nicely. Then freshened up and had a trial on the Polytrack at Warwick Farm when leading and again moving well when beaten narrowly. Stable is flying and should always be respected with their juveniles.
Race 6. (15:40) Syd. Commercial Interiors-bm88 1200m
This is a significant step up in grade/depth for 5 Snapdancer (Bet Now: $5.00), but the way she won first up at Ballarat, she does look a Stakes winner in waiting and I think she can take this out. Didn’t beat much fresh at Ballarat, but it was the arrogance in the way she put them away. Best L400m/L200m of the meeting and I hope they are training her like a 1200-1400m horse. If so, she’s a Stakes winner in waiting and I think she can win this race before heading to the Gold Coast.
Very wary of 1 Tailleur (Bet Now: $2.20), who resumes for the James Cummings team. This girl really came of age during the Winter, winning three of four, including a dominant win at the Valley on a testing wet track. Dare say she’ll head to Brisbane this prep in search of blacktype and the trial to get her ready, albeit soft, was impressive.
9 Jay Jay D’Ar (Bet Now: $18.00) does like racing at Randwick so think she can be an improver here at odds. Comes through the Threeood race from Rosehill where she was tucked away on the fence behind the speed and battled away well without being a winning threat. Think if she can get clear air from the outset and a decent drag up into the race, she can be dangerous.
Race 7. (16:20) Razor Sharp Handicap 1200m
Bit surprised double figures was put up for 2 Tactical Advantage (Bet Now: $9.50). He is a few weeks between runs since contesting The Hunter where I thought he ran a super race when fourth to Sweet Deal over 1300m, which is probably just beyond his limit re distance. Freshened up and his trial over trial last week at Newcastle was great I thought. Parks off a good speed, strong late and has J Mac steering.
6 Southern Lad (Bet Now: $6.50) is an enigma for John O’Shea but he’s a handy sprinter when right and does tend to save his best for when he is produced fresh. Somewhat of a frustrating Winter prep but for the most part wasn’t far off. Two trials to get ready have been encouraging and I think can run a forward race first up.
I think 8 Inanup (Bet Now: $8.00) only runs well here. Was on him at odds in the Starlight two weeks ago. Was freshened up and back to 1100m from 1200m just brought him undone in the end when a close up fourth to Invictus Salute. Fitter and back up to 1200m on a track he loves, looks primed to run a big one. Does he want a bit of juice in the track though?
Race 8. (17:00) Villiers Stakes 1600m
It’s interesting with 8 Sambro (Bet Now: $17.00). Is this a target race, or do they have eyes on the Magic Millions? Whatever the case, I’m with him here, because I thought he was a definite pass mark in the Festival. Just left flat footed when the sprint went on, but loved the way he picked up and closed off the final few strides. If you’re going back to last year, he finished down the track in the Festival before a 0.3L third in the Villiers. Given he ran so well fresh in the Festival, I think he’s on track.
5 Reloaded (Bet Now: $8.50) is a quirky animal but he’s got talent. Three weeks between runs since contesting The Gong at Kembla when getting a suck run behind runners before getting splits in the straight and chasing strongly when fourth to Archedemus. He needs things to fall into place aka a soft run, cover…if he can get that here, think he runs a big race.
2 Best Of Days (Bet Now: $17.00) is a Group l performer and we’ve seen in recent years that horse near the top of the weights do run well in this race eg Invincible Gem last year. Not sure where he should have finished in The Gong, but he should have finished much closer. Had little luck. Gets a soft draw with Bowman to ride, think he’s a knockout chance.
Race 9. (17:40) Drinkwise (bm88) 1600m
Looks to be good speed here, and I hope it sets up for a swooper, namely 3 Primitivo (Bet Now: $23.00). He’s being set for the Magic Millions Stayers, so whatever he does here, he should improve on. Resumed in the Festival and on face value, was just a run, but his late splits were quite good for a horse wanting further. If they go solid in front, which I anticipate they will, think he can finish over the top.
4 Matowi… (Bet Now: $9.00) ah he’s a bludger. Been on him for a host of runs, dropped off him at Kembla and what happens? Backed with confidence, gets a 12/10 from J Mac and gets the win. That’s Matowi. He’s honest and is racing really well, but just needs a pearler of a steer given he only has a short burst and J Mac got it spot on. Has to be respected…backing him to make it back-to-back wins is another thing.
15 Kirwan’s Lane (Bet Now: $10.00) can run a positive race here at a price. Had specking when he raced at Kembla a few weeks ago and I thought his effort was quite good considering how far back in the run he got, but loved the way he finished his race. If he can sit a pair or two closer in the run, think he’ll be dangerous despite coming back to the mile.
Race 10. (18:20) Fujitsu General (bm78) 1400m
2 I Am Vinnie (Bet Now: $6.00) is a Team Feek trained gelding that is third up here and should just about be at peak fitness. Thought he was a definite pass mark fresh on Cup Day here behind Exhilarates before going to Ballarat where the track pattern was against but he ran very well when third to Titan Blinders. Hopefully the tempo is more genuine this time around and like him at 1400m on the big track.
4 Juventus (Bet Now: $11.00) looks to have returned in good order for Kris Lees. Resumed three weeks ago at Kembla Grange on Gong Day and he was very good from off the pace when a closing third to impressive winner Mo’s Crown. His record at Randwick, on paper, is plain, but in isolation, his runs have had merit. He’ll improve off that and is going to prove hard to beat up to 1400m.
If there is a horse I could have a speck each way at big odds, it’s 12 California Longbow (Bet Now: $23.00). Gee I was taken by his recent trial here behind Smart Image. Wasn’t let go at any stage but loved the way he closed off and the way he ran through the line. Not sure what the stable have in store for him, but off that trial, he has to go in despite 1400m being short of his best.
Best Bets & Quaddie Tips
BEST BET: Race Six Number 5 Snapdancer
NEXT BEST: Race Two Number 7 Bad Boy For Love
LONG SHOT: Race Eight Number 8 Sambro
Quaddie Tips (Races Seven Through To Ten):
Leg One: 2, 4, 5, 6, 8
Leg Two: 2, 5, 8, 12, 15
Leg Three: 3, 4, 15, 16
Leg Four: 2, 3, 4, 12
$50 Investment = 12.50% of the dividend if successful
All odds are subject to change. Odds listed are correct at the time of the latest update.
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