Gerald Ryan’s lightly raced young filly Villa Splendido makes her three-year-old debut in the Heritage Stakes at Royal Randwick this Saturday, the race an early season stepping stone towards her main spring target of the 2012 Thousand Guineas in Melbourne next month.
The daughter of Holy Roman Emperor, purchased for $110,000 at the 2011 William Inglis & Son Australian Easter Yearling Sales, debut at Hawkesbury back in May beating home the Peter Snowden-trained Academus by three quarters of a length in the Inglis Bonus race.
It proved an excellent form race too with Academus going on to run three Group race minor placings during the Brisbane Winter Racing Carnival including their third to Sizzling in the Group 1 TJ Smith (1600m).
After her eye-catching debut Villa Splendido ran second to the high earning Anthony Cummings-trained filly Diamond Earth in the Arrowfield Handicap (1100m) at Scone after jumping from barrier 14 of 14, after which she was sent out for a spell.
Saturday sees Villa Splendido return to racing in her first big city run and first black-type assignment in the $100,000 Listed Schweppes Heritage Stakes (1100m).
Drawn in gate six of eight with Corey Brown engaged she currently pays $15 in a market that has five horses paying between $5.50 and $4.20 to win.
Co-favouries in the latest odds are John Thompson’s Fastnet Rock colt Destruction who was undefeated as a juvenile and who was last seen winning the Listed Dalrello Stakes at Doomben back in June, and the Chris Waller-trained Relaxed And Happy looking to extend their flawless career record to four from four.
They aren’t the only fancies however with the Gai Waterhouse-trained Raceway following closely on $4.60 as they prepare to run in their first non-Group 1 event in four starts, Group 2 winner Ichihara coming into $5 and Anthony Cummings’ in-form General Nediym filly Agueda in gate three paying $5.50.
Connections of Villa Splendido however are happy with their runner who is out to earn an interstate trip to Victoria to chase Melbourne Spring Racing Carnival glory namely in the $500,000 Group 1 Thousand Guineas (1600m) at Caulfield Racecourse on Wednesday, October 17.
“It is a starting point and we are hoping to get her to the Thousand Guineas,” Ryan said.
“She will go to 1400 metres next and then the Guineas.”
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