Trainer Scott Aspery is thrilled with the effort his mare Estonian Princess put in to run second in the Festival Stakes over the weekend and is looking forward to Saturday week’s Villiers Stakes 2014 rematch with the winner I’m Imposing.
Snitzel four-year-old Estonian Princess has been racing in top company this spring – summer season and performing well including running under two lengths away fifth behind Bonaria in the Group 1 Myer Classic (1600m) at Flemington on Derby Day.
That was on the back of a second to Neena Rock in Sydney’s Group 3 Angst Stakes (1600m) in October, and was followed by a fifth to Politeness in the Group 3 Summoned Stakes (1600m) at Sandown on November 15.
On the weekend she dropped back to Listed class for Rosehill’s $100,000 Festival Stakes (1500m) and came within a short half-head of the Chris Waller-trained I’m Imposing.
The nine-year-old Festival Stakes winner won the Group 3 Summer Cup (2000m) last Sydney Summer Racing Carnival, but reinvented as a miler this season will now target the $175,000 Group 2 Villiers Stakes (1600m) at Royal Randwick on December 13.
After winning the traditional Villiers Stakes lead-up in the Festival Stakes, I’m Imposing is sure to jump one of the top fancies for the quality handicap at Ladbrokes.com.au.
Also set to feature high up the Villiers Stakes odds is Aspery’s mare Estonian Princess who impressed her trainer with her gutsy Festival Stakes run.
“That was great,” Aspery said on Saturday.
“She has made a long run and looked the winner. The other fellow (I’m Imposing) just had the drop on us.
“We will get another crack at him in the Villiers and I would be confident she will give him a race.”
Also Villiers Stakes-bound after a good Festival run is fifth over the line Sir Moments, Steven O’dea’s Brisbane-based Choisir gelding beaten 1.7 lengths on Saturday after winning at the Gold Coast a fortnight before.
Winner of the Group 2 Queensland Guineas (1400m) and the Listed Daybreak Lover Stakes (1600m) at Eagle Farm during the winter, Sir Moments got caught on the rail in the Festival Stakes after being last on the turn before flashing home thanks to a weaving ride from Timothy Bell.
“He never really got out in the clear and got a crack at them,” O’Dea told The Sydney Morning Herald.
“He finished the race off very hard and the Villiers is in two weeks at Randwick, which will suit him better.
“I can’t wait to get him to the mile now and he has some improvement left there.”
The 2014 Villiers Stakes field and betting markets are both due out next week so stay tuned.
In the meantime there is a host of other summer races to enjoy a punt on this weekend including the last Group 1 race of the year, Perth’s Kingston Town Classic – odds open online now at Ladbrokes.com.au!