2011 Villiers Stakes Field & Barriers – Monton Draws Horror Gate 18

Randwick-based trainer Ron Quinton’s prayers for a favourable Villiers Stakes 2011 barrier draw for his hopeful Monton have not been answered, the last-start stakes winner coming up with the horror gate 18 of 19.


Monton has drawn the horror barrier 18 of 19 for the 2011 Villiers Stakes on Saturday

Last seen running away to win the Listed Festival Stakes (1500m) at Rosehill on December 3 after getting the run on the rails from barrier one, Catbird five-year-old Monton is one of a capacity 16 starters plus three emergencies accepted for the $175,000 Group 2 Inglis Villiers Stakes (1600m) at Warwick Farm this Saturday.

Quinton was confident that Monton could handle any weather in their attempt to secure back-to-back stakes wins, but how they will feel after the disastrous gate is another story.

The odds are stacking up against the gallant gelding who must now overcome a double-digit draw and 58kg equal topweight as they step up to the mile for the first time.

“I’d love him to draw well and get a similar run as he did when he won the Festival Stakes last start,” Quinton said earlier.

If the three emergencies don’t get a run Monton will come into gate 15.

The other 58kg Villiers Stakes topweight for Saturday, Gai Waterhouse’s Group 2 winner King Lionheart fared far better coming up with barrier two.

Waterhouse’s other hopeful Kontiki Park, however, will be joining Monton out wide drawing gate 16.

Other early favourites drawing worse than midfield include John O’Shea’s Festival Stakes runner-up Lightinthenite (barrier 10), the Jim & Greg Lee-trained last-start Listed Frank Underwood Cup winner Zara Dancer (barrier 12) and Festival Stakes third placegetter Viva Lass (barrier 19).

Meanwhile, big winners in the Villiers Stakes barrier draw included the Mark Kavanagh-trained Shadowfax (barrier nine) and New Day Rising (barrier eight), due to be ridden by father and son jockeys Glyn and Chad Schofield respectively.

Gary Portelli’s locally-trained Fastnet Rock five-year-old New Day Rising earned a shot at Villiers Stakes glory after winning the Rosehill Welter Handicap (1400m) last Saturday, the horse formerly prepared by Gai Waterhouse.

Apprentice hoop Chad Schofield was aboard for that win and retains the ride on Saturday.

“It was a ride beyond his years,” Portelli said of 17-year-old Schofield’s performance with New Day Rising last start.

“Why would they (the connections) take him off?

“No-one could have ridden him any better.”

Young Schofield is admittedly excited to have a ride in the Villiers, which will be their first in a Group 2 rated race.

“It’ll be my first ride in a Group 2 race,” he said.

“A big thrill and he (New Day Rising) has such a good chance of winning with no weight (53kg).”

Local horseman Guy Walter is sure to be disappointed after his Villiers Stakes acceptor Straight Albert, last seen winning the Goulburn Cup on November 18, was regulated to third emergency drawing barrier seven.

The first two emergency runners are the Con Karakatsanis-trained My Destiny (barrier six) and John Marzon’s Code Word (barrier three).

If just one of the 16-starters withdraws, My Destiny will come into the field giving the in-form Stratum four-year-old their chance to score their fourth straight win.

See below for the full 2011 Villiers Stakes field, barriers, weights and jockeys.

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2011 Villiers Stakes Final Field & Barrier Draw

Warwick Farm Race 6 – 17/12/2011

# Form (Last 10) Horse Trainer Jockey Br. Wgt. Hcp. Rating
1 2210X110X7 KING LIONHEART Gai Waterhouse Nash Rawiller 2 58kg 100
2 18860X3951 MONTON Ron Quinton Hugh Bowman 18 58kg 100
3 32X4110X42 SHADOWFAX (NZ) Mark Kavanagh Glyn Schofield 9 55kg 94
4 424880X486 ALTERED BOY Chris Waller Danny Nikolic 15 54.5kg 93
5 23484422X0 ALEXANDER OF HALES (USA) Chris Waller Peter Robl 17 54kg 92
6 41121X2470 EREWHON Peter Snowden Tommy Berry 11 54kg 92
7 40X3756441 ZARA DANCER (NZ) Jim & Greg Lee Adam Hyeronimus (a) 12 54kg 92
8 12288X0421 NEW DAY RISING Gary Portelli Chad Schofield (a) 8 53kg 90
9 X413600X30 LEBRECHAUN Matthew Dale 5 52.5kg 89
10 3522419X35 FIBRILLATION Tim Martin Corey Brown 13 52kg 92
11 006X343250 MISS KEEPSAKE (NZ) Joseph Pride Josh Adams (a) 14 52kg 91
12 X82220X103 KONTIKI PARK (NZ) Gai Waterhouse Brenton Avdulla 16 52kg 88
13 0160X82X00 TINDAL Wendy Roche Sam Clipperton (a) 4 52kg 86
14 11X16312 LIGHTINTHENITE John O’Shea Christian Reith 10 52kg 85
15 X779X64613 VIVA LAS Neville & Christopher Voigt Daniel Ganderton 19 52kg 85
16 1242X5X448 WITHOUT COMPROMISE Kevin Moses 1 52kg 84
17e 2103X62111 MY DESTINY Con Karakatsanis Jay Ford 6 52kg 83
18e 1311244X87 CODE WORD John Marzol Nathan Berry 3 52kg 81
19e 010382X231 STRAIGHT ALBERT Guy Walter Ms Kathy O’Hara 7 52kg 80