Ron Quinton’s top weight and returning champ from three years ago Monton leads a talented line-up of milers facing off in the Villiers Stakes 2014 field this Saturday in Sydney.
Back in 2011 the now eight-year-old Catbird gelding Monton won the $175,000 Group 2 Inglis Villiers Stakes (1600m), a handicap clash he’s also contested for the past two years without luck.
This weekend then at Royal Randwick he will line up in his fourth consecutive Villiers Stakes field and look to do what no horse before him has managed, win multiple editions of the mile feature.
He carries the 59kg this year with Sam Clipperton in the saddle and is looking to return to form after a disappointing 11th behind I’m Imposing in the Listed Festival Stakes (1500m), another race he won in 2011, back on November 29.
His two runs before the Festival Stakes flop though were encouraging with a 1500m Rosehill win in October followed by a close second behind subsequent Festival Stakes third placed Strawberry Boy at Hawkesbury in the Listed Ladies Day Cup (1400m) on November 6.
A host of other livewire chances also come out of the Festival Stakes and into the Villiers again this year including the Chris Waller-trained stable mates I’m Imposing (1st) and Strawberry Boy (3rd).
Veteran of the field I’m Imposing shoots for the double Monton achieved in 2011 after the Danehill Dancer nine-year-old improved on a 14th to Hucklebuck in the Group 1 Emirates Stakes (1600m) on November 8 to win the Festival Stakes in a narrow victory.
His rider that day Tye Angland is in the saddle again on Saturday, the horse going up one kilo to 56.5kg but having a wide barrier 12 draw to overcome.
Strawberry Boy had opposite luck with his Villiers Stakes barrier draw, Jim Cassidy to ride the in-form Redoute’s Choice six-year-old from the inside alley as he shoots for his second win from three starts this time in.
Australia’s it trainer of the year with 10 Group 1 wins for 2014, Waller has three hopes in the Villiers on Saturday also saddling up Wyong Cup winner Multilateral from barrier three – the six-year-old coming off a first-up sixth in the Festival Stakes.
Along with I’m Imposing the other last start winner in the mix is then the Helen Page-trained Rudy to be ridden by apprentice Luke Tarrant from barrier six on the 53kg minimum.
After two close seconds at Doomben to kick off his season, the Red Dazzler four-year-old broke through for a win back at the track on November 29 when stepped up to the 1630m for the Listed Recognition Stakes where he carried 54kg to victory.
Others coming off nice lead-up form then include the Leon & Troy Corstens-trained General Groove who was runner-up to French import Pornichet in the Group 3 Sandown Stakes (1500m) on Zipping Classic Day, Festival Stakes runner-up Estonian Princess dropping half a kilo to 53.5kg and the Sam Kavanagh-trained Midsummer Sun last seen running third in the Listed ATC Cup (2000m).
Also of note ready for a cheeky run are the returning Tony McEvoy-trained 2013 Werribee Cup winner Pelicano who hasn’t raced in 12 months, Queensland Guineas winner Sir Moments who ran fifth in the Festival Stakes and the Peter & Paul Snowden-trained Group 3 performed mare Rose Of Choice.
See below for the full Villiers Stakes 2014 field, barriers, jockeys and weights.
Then head to Ladbrokes.com.au and open an account to take advantage of their $500 bonus bet offer, ending soon, and get ready to lock in the hottest summer odds this weekend!
2014 Villiers Stakes Final Field & Barrier Draw
Randwick Race 6 (4:15pm) – 13/12/2014
|#||Form (Last 10)||Horse||Trainer||Jockey||Br.||Wgt.||Hcp. Rating|
|1||50×4552120||MONTON||Ron Quinton||Sam Clipperton||5||59kg||107|
|2||141127×108||AOMEN (IRE)||Anthony Cummings||Joshua Parr||4||57.5kg||104|
|3||02x7200x13||STRAWBERRY BOY||Chris Waller||Jim Cassidy||1||57kg||103|
|4||276128×201||I’M IMPOSING (GB)||Chris Waller||Tye Angland||12||56.5kg||102|
|5||x44871621x||PELICANO||Tony McEvoy||Matthew Neilson||2||56kg||101|
|6||5x1611x315||SIR MOMENTS||Steven O’dea||Timothy Bell||14||55.5kg||100|
|7||361137×687||SCREAM MACHINE||Jason Coyle||Tim Clark||10||55kg||99|
|8||718×592552||ESTONIAN PRINCESS||Scott Aspery||Brenton Avdulla||7||53.5kg||100|
|9||1472×98523||MIDSUMMER SUN (GB)||Sam Kavanagh||Chad Lever||8||53.5kg||96|
|10||75135176×6||MULTILATERAL (USA)||Chris Waller||TBA||3||53kg||95|
|11||1x2162x324||ROSE OF CHOICE||Peter & Paul Snowden||Kerrin McEvoy||11||53kg||93|
|12||113530×221||RUDY||Helen Page||Luke Tarrant (a)||6||53kg||93|
|13||34616×7455||KAYPERS||Greg Bennett||Ms Kathy O’Hara||13||53kg||91|
|14||6227×26112||GENERAL GROOVE||Leon & Troy Corstens||TBA||9||53kg||90|
|15||0391465×70||KEEP COOL (NZ)||Joseph Pride||TBA||15||53kg||90|