The headline Sydney Summer Racing Carnival event is set to light up track this Saturday with a 14-horse field announced to contest the Villiers Stakes 2013.
A major target for many end-of-season stayers, this year’s $175,000 Group 2 Villiers Stakes (1550m) is set to run as Race 6 at 4:30pm (AEST).
The venue change from the course proper at Randwick, which failed to hold up after a major renovation, has also seen the Villiers Stakes field capped at 14 runners and held over 50 meters shorter than the traditional mile.
Heading the then capacity field with 59kg are the Chris Waller-trained Hawkesbury Gold Cup winner Coup Ay Tee and Gai Waterhouse’s resuming High Chaparral seven-year-old Western Symbol.
It’s been over a year since Western Symbol raced, their last start being a third to Crafty Irna in the Tattersalls Cup at Randwick in October 2013.
Waller has also nominated for Said Com who jumps from a nice barrier two draw with Hugh Bowman aboard.
The next heaviest weighted is last year’s runner-up Alma’s Fury (58kg) who was beaten a nose 12 months ago carrying only 53kg followed on 56kg by Winter Cup winner Destiny’s Kiss out to improve on two failed runs this time in.
Coming off better form meanwhile are the likes of the Tony Gollan-trained Queenslander Listen Son drawn ideally in gate three with Kathy O’Hara returning to the saddle, and the Tony McEvoy-trained Sysmo.
Symso missed out on a run in the ATC Cup on November 30 due to a hoof problem but is ready to step up in class for the Villiers Stakes with James McDonald to ride from barrier nine.
The only last start winner is then the lucky last in the field, Sam Kavanagh’s Mossman five-year-old Absalon (barrier 12) coming off a big win over Fillydelphia in the Listed Recognition Stakes (1600m) in the wet and after their third on the trot.
See below for the full Villiers Stakes 2013 field, barriers, jockeys and weights.
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2013 Villiers Stakes Final Field & Barrier Draw
Kensington Race 6 – 4:30pm (AEST) – 14/12/2013
|#||Form (Last 10)||Horse||Trainer||Jockey||Br||Wgt||Hcp. Rating|
|1||1203151246||COUP AY TEE (NZ)||Chris Waller||Jason Collett||5||59kg||103|
|2||11124x023x||WESTERN SYMBOL (NZ)||Gai Waterhouse||Tommy Berry||13||59kg||103|
|3||420×068653||ALMA’S FURY||Paul Murray||Blake Shinn||4||58kg||101|
|4||6442115×77||DESTINY’S KISS||Joseph Pride||Christian Reith||7||56kg||97|
|5||305313×625||SAID COM (NZ)||Chris Waller||Hugh Bowman||2||55.5kg||96|
|7||70503×1389||STRIKE THE STARS (NZ)||Anthony Cummings||Glyn Schofield||6||55kg||95|
|8||12205×5210||NINTH LEGION||Michael, Wayne & John Hawkes||Peter Robl||11||54.5kg||94|
|9||6519×03974||SCREAM MACHINE||Jason Coyle||Adam Hyeronimus||14||54.5kg||94|
|10||4386013812||LISTEN SON||Tony Gollan||Ms Kathy O’Hara||3||54kg||93|
|11||3x2163x313||SYSMO (FR)||Tony McEvoy||James McDonald||9||54kg||93|
|12||53731×4032||TAXMEIFYOUCAN||Gregory Hickman||Tim Clark||8||53kg||90|
|14||332731×511||ABSALON||Sam Kavanagh||Brenton Avdulla||12||53kg||86|