A good barrier draw will assist Champagne...
Flying Godolphin-raced entire Interlocuter is the dominant favourite in pre-field 2017 Villiers Stakes betting for the mile summer feature at Royal Randwick this weekend in Sydney.
Of the 18 early entries taken by Racing NSW on Monday for this season’s Group 2 $250,000 Villiers Stakes (1600m), Ladbrokes.com.au have the James Cummings-trained Interlocuter as the $3.20 top fancy.
A nicely-bred Medaglia D’Oro five-year-old, the imported Interlocuter has won all three of his starts this prep going back to early October.
He won over the same track and distance as Saturday’s Villiers Stakes by an impressive three length margin carrying 58.5kg to begin the winning streak.
A Benchmark 95 victory over Black On Gold and subsequent Goulburn Cup winner Dark Eyes back at Randwick over 1800m followed and then Interlocuter made it three on the trot takin gout Rosehill’s November Topaz (1900m) as the odds-on favourite last time out.
A subsequent December 8 trial over 1030m has kept the ultra-consistent and versatile galloper fit and he shapes up as the horse to beat in the Villiers Stakes results for 2017.
In the futures Villiers Stakes odds a further three nominees are also under $10 for the Sydney Summer Racing Carnival win including the Chris Waller-trained Mister Sea Wolf ($5.50).
Another former international runner, the Irish-bred Amadeus Wolf six-year-old debuted down under last start on December 2 at Rosehill finishing a devastatingly close second to Testashadow in the Group 3 Festival Stakes (1500m).
Fitter for the run and with the benefit of an Australian start now on the record, Mister Sea Wolf presents as a genuine danger for his rematch with Gary Portelli’s Festival Stakes winner Testashadow on the weekend.
The other best in betting before final acceptances are taken on Wednesday are Crack Me Up ($7.50) and Cabeza De Vaca ($8).
Liam Birchley could back-up his Queensland-raced Mossman four-year-old Crack Me Up on successive Saturdays after the gelding ran just a half-length back fourth in the Listed Brisbane Handicap (1600m) last weekend.
The run prior, Crack Me Up won the Listed Recognition Stakes (1350m) at Doomben and if accepted into the Villiers Stakes field the up-and-comer will be racing outside of the sunshine state for the first time in his career.
One of two entries in the race for Gai Waterhouse & Adrian Bott along with the aforementioned Dark Eyes, Cabeza De Vaca is another Festival Stakes graduate.
The Northern Meteor six-year-old won five on the trot before things unravelled when second last (eighth) in the Festival Stakes, Cabeza De Vaca still only three lengths beaten.
The official Villiers Stakes 2017 field & barriers plus updated markets at Ladbrokes.com.au are set for release on Wednesday making now the time to lock in your early selections at their generous all-in prices.
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