Destiny’s Kiss Still Set for 2013 Villiers Stakes

They may have run seventh in the feature race at Rosehill on Saturday but trainer Joe Pride remains confident the Villiers Stakes 2013 will be Destiny’s Kiss’s time to shine this Sydney Summer Racing Carnival.

Destiny's Kiss

Destiny's Kiss is set for a big run in Saturday week's Villiers Stakes 2013 according to trainer Joe Pride. Photo: Steve Hart.

Pride ran second in Saturday’s $100,000 Listed Festival Stakes (1500m) with the progressive Terravista behind John O’Shea’s undefeated mare White Sage.

Both will be sent for a spell now with an eye on an autumn return.

White Sage will target a race against her own kind in the $500,000 Group 1 Coolmore Classic (1500m) while Pride has ambitious $3 million Group 1 Doncaster Mile (1600m) plans for Terravista.

The Warwick Farm-based horseman also saddled-up Power Of Destiny gelding Destiny’s Kiss, owned by Nick Moraitis of 2010 Melbourne Cup runner-up Maluckyday fame, in the Festival Stakes over the weekend.

Jumping a 30-1 outsider following a first-up seventh at the track a fortnight earlier, the five-year-old ran accordingly finishing five lengths away seventh to White Sage who made it five-from-five.

While on paper that run was ordinary, Pride hasn’t lost faith in the Winter Cup winner who he is tipping to improve when they step up in distance next start after they made up lots of late ground in the Festival stakes.

That next start is scheduled for Saturday week, December 14, at Royal Randwick Racecourse with Pride targeting them at the $175,000 Group 2 Villiers Stakes (1600m).

“If there is a better Villiers trial, I didn’t see it,” Pride told AAP speaking of Destiny’s Kiss’s run on the weekend.

“I’m very happy with that.”

The Festival Stakes may be the traditional Villiers Stakes lead-up but with the Festival quinella out resting, the race has opened right up.

It will still be the who’s who of the remaining end-of-season milers making up the Villiers Stakes field 2013, and Pride is confident Destiny’s Kiss will give the better fancied gallopers a run for their money.

“He made up a lot on the leaders (in the Festival Stakes) and he will be a definite threat in the Villiers,” he said.

If successful in the Villiers it will be Destiny’s Kiss’s third win for Pride.

Previously prepared by Robert Smerdon in Victoria they moved to Pride’s care earlier this year and had five runs before breaking their maiden status for their new trainer at Rosehill in June.

One run later they posted their first, and to date only, black type victory winning the Listed Winter Cup (2400m0 by two and a half lengths over Fiumicino.

The Villiers Stakes will be their first Group race assignment.

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