Anthony Cummings’ former Group 1 winner Shadows In The Sun may have finished near the back of the pack last time out but their Randwick-based horseman is confident of improvement heading into Saturday’s 2012 Villiers Stakes.
Run this year at Warwick Farm Racecourse due to the track renovations taking place at Royal Randwick, the $175,000 Group 2 Villiers Stakes (1600m) has drawn 21 early entries including 2011 SA Derby winner Shadows In the Sun.
The now five-year-old Dane Shadow gelding hasn’t won a race since their breakthrough elite level triumph in Morphettville over 18 months ago, Shadows In The Sun going into Saturday’s showdown third-up this campaign.
They put in a good first-up effort at Rosehill last month coming dangerously close to Ollie Vollie when second in a 1200m handicap.
On December 8 however they could only beat home two of their 15 rivals when 14th behind Malavio, currently out with injury, in the Listed Festival Stakes (1500m).
While on paper that performance, Shadows In The Sun beaten five lengths, looks poor form for Saturday’s summer showcase Cummings remains confident they can progress in the Villiers where they will face a number of the same rivals including Festival runner-up and last year’s Villiers winner Monton.
“He’s healthy and well,” Cummings said.
“The mile suits at the moment and we will gradually work him up in distance.”
Peter Robl has been confirmed to ride Shadows In The Sun on Saturday after being cleared to ride this weekend before starting an enforced seven week suspension for careless riding in Sydney last weekend the senior hoop taking over from Anthony Allen aboard for the horse’s opening two runs this prep.
“He is going just as well as he was first-up going into this race,” Robl said of Shadows Of The Sun who he rode in the Scone Cup back in May.
He is a horse that needs to get to the outside to show his best. He is an each-way hope in a race with plenty of chances.”
The 2012 Villiers Stakes final field and barriers are due out on Wednesday and will be published right here at Races.com.au.
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