The John O’Shea-trained It’s Somewhat leads the field and weights for the Villiers Stakes 2015 in Sydney as the summer racing action continues at Randwick Racecourse on Saturday.
Due to jump as Randwick Race 7 at 4:25pm (AEST), this year’s $250,000 Group 2 Inglis Villiers Stakes (1600m) features a bumper field of 20 starters led by Dynaformer five-year-old It’s Somewhat carrying 59kg.
He had the same weight on his back first-up last time out when narrowly beaten crossing second in the Listed Festival Stakes (1500m) at Rosehill on November 28.
This weekend the gelding shoots for his first win at Randwick at his third start at the track but will need to be at his best after drawing wide with barrier 14.
Also suffering a blow with outside gates in this year’s Villiers Stakes barrier draw are the next four heaviest weighted hopes including the Chris Waller-trained I’m Imposing (58.5kg) with 17 to overcome.
Joshua Parr rides the veteran 10-year-old who is out to go one better than his second to Rudy in last summer’s Villiers Stakes.
He won his next start when securing back-to-back Group 3 Summer Cup (2000m) wins on Boxing Day but hasn’t been in the winner’s stall since.
With nearly a year between runs I’m Imposing, third in the Group 1 Doomben Cup (2000m) over the winter, is looking to improve on his last start Festival Stakes eighth but needs luck from the barrier.
The next heaviest weighted are Ninth Legion (58kg), Puccini (58kg) and Red Excitement (57.5kg) jumping from barriers 13, 16 and 20 respectively.
Ninth Legion won the 2013 Villiers Stakes and his last victory was back in January when taking out the Listed Carrington Stakes (1400m) at Randwick.
His sixth in the Festival Stakes last start saw him carrying 59kg and he is a kilo under that with Blake Shinn aboard this weekend looking to become a dual Villiers Stakes winner.
Former New Zealand galloper Puccini is now prepared in Victoria by Melbourne Cup winning trainer Darren Weir and comes off a nice second in the Group 3 Eclipse Stakes (1800m) from mid-November.
The five-year-old Encosta De Lago stallion, winner of the 2014 NZ Derby, carried 58.5kg from barrier 15 and drops a half-kilo here but is drawn one wider.
Red Excitement has the outside alley to overcome in the Villiers Stakes, jockey Kerrin McEvoy riding the Gerald Ryan-trained Excites gelding whose lead-up was a Festival Stakes fifth.
The six-year-old was beaten under two lengths and is tipped to appreciate the step up in distance boasting two wins from two starts over a mile to date.
Another outside alley also belongs to Waller’s flying mare Telepathic who shoots for three wins on the trot from gate 18 with Jason Collett aboard on the 54kg minimum.
The five-year-old daughter of Mossman won at Rosehill over 1500m in the mud on November 14 before a last start victory back at the track on firmer ground in the Listed ATC Cup (2000m).
She drops down notable in distance here and while well-weighted and in good form the gate is a big issue in a capacity field.
Another back-to-back last start winner is the Michael Moroney-trained Rhythm To Spare jumping from eight on 57kg with Christian Reith booked to ride the Pins gelding from Melbourne.
After an Emirates Stakes Day success over the Flemington mile Rhythm To Spare won again with a Listed Kilmore Cup (1600m) victory on November 22 ahead of his Randwick debut this weekend.
Other notable Villiers Stakes hopes include Fred Cowell’s Festival Stakes winner Mighty Lucky going up to 55kg this weekend and Patrick Webster’s early favourite Happy Clapper coming off a 1500m win at Rosehill; drawn in barriers nine and six respectively.
See below for the complete Villiers Stakes 2015 field, barriers, jockeys and weights then head to our preferred online sportsbook Ladbrokes.com.au who will be offering the hottest Sydney odds this Saturday!
2015 Villiers Stakes Final Field & Barrier Draw
Randwick Race 7 (4:25pm) – 12/12/2015
|#||Form (Last 10)||Horse||Trainer||Jockey||Barrier||Weight||Hcp. Rating|
|1||50x19x87x2||IT’S SOMEWHAT (USA)||John O’Shea||James McDonald||14||59kg||104|
|2||03336×9838||I’M IMPOSING (GB)||Chris Waller||Joshua Parr||17||58.5kg||103|
|3||02×3646046||NINTH LEGION||Michael, Wayne & John Hawkes||Blake Shinn||13||58kg||102|
|4||8040×00082||PUCCINI (NZ)||Darren Weir||Brad Rawiller||16||58kg||102|
|5||11x1180x05||RED EXCITEMENT||Gerald Ryan||Kerrin McEvoy||20||57.5kg||101|
|6||504×970911||RHYTHM TO SPARE (NZ)||Michael Moroney||Christian Reith||8||57kg||100|
|7||1320x107x0||PHEIDON||Gai Waterhouse||Adam Hyeronimus||11||56.5kg||99|
|8||x231167x70||TINTO||Rex Lipp||Tim Clark||5||56kg||102|
|9||677×027425||MALICE||John O’Shea||Sam Clipperton||7||56kg||98|
|10||4217×42127||FRESPANOL||Gai Waterhouse||Thomas Huet||1||55.5kg||97|
|11||5225051331||CASINO DANCER||Mike Van Gestel||Glyn Schofield||3||55kg||100|
|12||236264×431||MIGHTY LUCKY||Fred Cowell||Nathan Thomas||9||55kg||96|
|13||14304×3211||TELEPATHIC (NZ)||Chris Waller||Jason Collett||18||54kg||98|
|14||9x00549x14||ZANBAGH||John P Thompson||Ms Kathy O’Hara||19||53kg||94|
|15||313x11x124||GOD’S IN HIM||Michael, Wayne & John Hawkes||Dwayne Dunn||4||53kg||90|
|16||2x111x5x11||HAPPY CLAPPER||Patrick Webster||Brenton Avdulla||6||53kg||89|
|17||1002×84703||TIMELESS PRINCE||Tony Newing||TBA||12||53kg||87|
|18||192231×700||KEEPIT TO YOURSELF (NZ)||Jim & Greg Lee||Grant Buckley||15||53kg||86|
|19||x9338x3152||MORAL VICTORY||Tim Martin||Blake Spriggs||10||53kg||81|
|20||2636534525||DREAM FOLK||Gregory Hickman||Ms Winona Costin (a)||2||53kg||78|