This weekend the action of the Sydney Summer Racing Carnival steps up a notch with the running of the Villiers Stakes 2013, tips and exotic selections from the Races.com.au team for which are detailed below.
Set to run as Kensington Race 6 at 4:30pm (AEST), relocated from the course proper at Randwick that has failed to recover from a recent upgrade, this year’s $175,000 Group 2 Villiers Stakes will be held over 1550m instead of the traditional mile.
The venue move also means the field has been limited to 14 runners, two of those currently battling for top spot in the Villiers Stakes odds.
Goulburn Cup runner-up Taxmifyoucan opened $6 favourite and is now out to $6.50.
The next best is then Tony McEvoy-trained Sysmo, back from a hoof issue that saw their ATC Cup start shelved, after their second win in three starts after a recent victory in the Seymour Cup.
Sysmo was originally paying $6.50 as well but has eased out to a more generous $7.
The other single figure fancies in Villiers Stakes betting are then Ninth Legion ($9) and Strike The Stars ($8.50).
So are those under $10 in the markets the ones to lock into your Villiers Stakes bets at Ladbrokes.com.au?
Or is there value to be found in some of the longer priced hopes such as one of the Chris Waller-trained duo with Said Com ($11) an early market mover, and Coup Ay Tee ($14) on the drift.
#11 Sysmo ($7)
At their easing price think Sysmo represents great value. There’s been a few queries as they weren’t originally set for this like most others in the field, the ATC Cup the preferred option, but think they have what it takes to accommodate the change of course and thrive here with their 54kg weight. James McDonald rides and gate nine looks ideal, their Seymour Cup win over 1600m was from the same barrier and their last start third at Flemington on Emirates Stakes Day with 58kg was brave. Barrier nine also produced last year’s Villiers Stakes winner All Legal. Should be fresh and right to go and if the distance isn’t too sharp for them they’ll be hard to hold out so long as they’ve been paced right, and with the top place rate of 80% take them Each Way as a sure thing.
#3 Alma’s Fury ($14)
Plenty to like about Paul Murray’s talented Refuse To Bend gelding who is right in this for mine even with their 58kg weight allocation. Blake Shinn has the mount and they’ve come up trumps with barrier four which should suit. Were beaten by a nostril flare in this last year, albeit carrying only 53kg, so it is an ask with five kilos more here. 12 months ago they came off a sixth in the Festival Stakes, carrying 54kg from barrier 16 of 16, and this year the form is spot on again as they overcame 58.5kg to run a brave third in the race that has produced the past two Villiers Stakes winners.
#2 Western Symbol ($17)
They’re first-up so give away the fitness advantage, and also have the 59kg equal top weight so give away the weight advantage, but still can’t ignore the facts and stats on Gai Waterhouse’s resuming High Chaparral seven-year-old. Injury has seen them spend the past 14 months on the sidelines with their latest run being a third in a Randwick black type last October. Still they’ve been proving they’re ready for a return with some promising trials at Randwick, including their latest over 1200m on December 2 when beaten a nose. Has won over 1500m first-up before carrying 60kg, so even though there’s been so long between runs, and even though they have the big weight, we aren’t ruling them out. Also baost the best Win Rate (32%), second best place rate (79%) and are one of only two horses with a previous win at the track along with the 2011 Villiers Stakes winner Monton.
Whether you’re backing or sacking our Villiers Stakes selections this year make sure you lock in the top odds on your picks online at Ladbrokes.com.au.
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*All odds quoted are Fixed Win from Ladbrokes.com.au and subject to change