2015 Villiers Stakes Mission for Just A Blur

A nice win in Sunday’s Goulburn Cup could see the Barbara Joseph & Paul Jones-trained Just A Blur head to Royal Randwick next month for a shot at Sydney’s Villiers Stakes 2015 in mid-December.

Michael Cahill

Jockey Michael Cahill guided 2015 Villiers Stakes-bound Just A Blur to her Goulburn Cup win over the weekend. Photo: Daniel Costello.

The five-year-old Dane Shadow mare enjoyed her fifth win at start number 27 over the weekend when overcoming barrier 13 of 16 with Mathew Cahill aboard to take out the $100,000 Goulburn Cup (1600m) by one and a half lengths over the Tim Martin-trained Moral Victory.

The mile win that saw her come from well back in the field broke a lengthy drought for Just A Blur who hadn’t won a race since the Wagga Wagga Guineas over the same distance back in May last year as a three-year-old.

Her Goulburn Cup lead-up was a good second in the Snake Gully Cup (1400m) just nine days earlier behind upset winner Zero To Ten at Gundagai and she could now be set for bigger and better things this Sydney Summer Racing Carnival.

Group 1 performed having run 11th behind Amanpour in the Queen Of The Turf Stakes over 1600m at Randwick on April 11, Just A Blur hasn’t raced in black-type company since.

She has plenty of competitive form at Sydney’s best tracks however including a credible fifth to Catkins in the Group 2 Breeders Classic (1200m) at Rosehill back in February.

It is Randwick Racecourse her Canberra-based trainers have in mind for her next big target however with Jones naming the $250,000 Group 2 Villiers Stakes (1600m) at the track on December 12 as a possible aim, despite his mother and co-trainer Joseph looking at the Bega Cup.

“Why not shoot for the stars and aim for the Villiers,” Jones told Sky Thoroughbred Central on Sunday.

“She would have to be a lightweight chance. She has probably gone beyond country races now and mum’s got a history at the Randwick mile.”

That history includes Joseph’s historical 1989 Doncaster Handicap win when she became the first female trainer to take out the race with Merimbula Bay who beat home the late, great TJ Smith-trained stablemates Tjarra and Lygon Arms.

Goulburn Cup winning hoop on the weekend Cahill agrees with Jones’s assessment of Just A Blur’s class and rates her a hope in better company over the coming weeks.

“It was a pretty strong race and she hasn’t had any luck at her past few starts,” he said post-win.

“She got that today.”

Another weekend winner eyeing a Villiers Stakes run is the Michael Moroney-trained Rhythm To Spare who took out the Listed Kilmore Cup (1600m) with Mark Zahra, subsequently sidelined again for a Ballarat ride on Saturday, in the saddle.

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