Local galloper Zahspeed remains the solid...
The Villiers Stakes 2017 headlines the weekend’s racing action at Royal Randwick on Saturday, our insider betting tips and updated odds on the Doncaster Mile ballot exemption event detailed below.
Due to run as Randwick Race 7 at 4:20pm (AEDT), this summer’s Group 2 $250,000 Inglis Villiers Stakes (1600m) field is down to 14 runners after the withdrawal of the Desleigh Forster-trained Someday (10).
The latest Villiers Stakes odds at Ladbrokes.com.au remain led by the up-in-grade Interlocuter ($3.50) chasing win number four on the trot for James Cummings and the Godolphin stable.
No doubt the progressive import has been impressive this season and the Medaglia D’Oro five-year-old is undefeated at Randwick, but he needs to be improving stepping back from 1900m and up to Group 2 class.
If Interlocuter fails to fire the next best in Villiers Stakes betting are the Chris Waller-trained Irish import Mister Sea Wolf ($5.50) drawn wide but coming off an impressive Australian debut when runner-up in the Group 3 Festival Stakes (1500m) and Crack Me Up ($6.50).
Hailing from the Queensland stables of Liam Birchley, Mossman four-year-old Crack Me Up is on the quick back-up following a close fourth in last weekend’s Listed Brisbane Handicap (1600m) at Doomben.
The consistent gelding debuts in Sydney, but is down two kilos to 54.5kg and he and jockey Jason Collett are drawn to get the run of the race from barrier two.
So will the best in betting salute or is there value tipping an upset Villiers Stakes 2017 result this summer from the likes of the Festival Stakes winner Testashadow ($17) or even Gai Waterhouse’s last start Goulburn Cup winner Dark Eyes ($21)?
#5 Cabeza De Vaca ($8)
The Villiers Stakes form has stacked-up time and time again in the next year’s autumn features and think that could hold true with this evergreen Waterhouse-trained six-year-old. He is lightly raced and super-consistent with seven wins from 15 starts to date. November Handicap winner two back before the winning streak ended when second last in the Festival Stakes as the beaten favourite. Think that was a forgivable run and gets the chance to return to winning form here with Josh Parr coming on. Drawn wide but ability to overcome the draw.
#7 Crack Me Up ($6.50)
Money coming for the four-year-old Queenslander who presents rock hard fit and ready to bounce back off the devastatingly close fourth in the Brisbane Handicap last Saturday. Won the Recognition Stakes prior to that, is back down in weight and has solid mile form (6:2-2-0). Is he good enough for these? Saturday will tell all.
#3 Hopfgarten ($17)
Big price offered for Robert Heathcote’s evergreen veteran who was luckless running just out of the money in this race 12 months ago. Had zero luck with a horror double-digit draw, but Heathcote has decided to press on. Barrier aside, he’s a super-consistent stakes performer with form around Crack Me Up.
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