Crack Me Up Wins Villiers Stakes 2017

Liam Birchley’s progressive Brisbane raider Crack Me Up proved his mile ability once again with a gutsy win in the 2017 Villiers Stakes at Royal Randwick over the weekend making up all the ground to run down the tearaway leader.

Crack Me Up

2017 Villiers Stakes winner Crack Me Up targets the Gold Coast Magic Millions Carnival next month. Photo: Steve Hart.

The four-year-old son of Mossman jumped a $6 shot in an open betting market for this summer’s Group 2 $250,000 Inglis Villiers Stakes (1600m) on Saturday and came away victorious for his third win in his past five starts.

Two back Crack Me Up saluted at Doomben in the Listed Recognition Stakes (1350m) before a lead-up fourth in the Listed Brisbane Handicap (1600m).

On the short seven day turnaround, the in-form galloper was back to winning form taking his mile record up to three wins and two seconds from seven starts.

Crack Me Up was ridden to Villiers Stakes victory by Jason Collett and in his successful Sydney debut defeated the Gai Waterhouse & Adrian Bott-trained front-runner Cabeza De Vaca ($5) by a quarter-length.

Northern Meteor six-year-old Cabeza De Vaca with Josh Parr in the saddle looked the winner on the turn for home, heading into the straight with a seemingly impossible-to-run-down gap of 12 lengths.

Collett did not panic however allowing Crack Me Up to wind-up through his gears and used the entire length of the Randwick straight to chase down the eventual runner-up.

“When we got to the 150m, that’s when I thought the leader was starting to stop and we had a chance,” Collett told the media post-win.

“At the top of the straight, when I looked up and could see how far in front he was, I didn’t think we could catch him.

“There is only so much you can do in these situations. You are not going to get to the leader at the furlong [200m] you are only going to get near him on the line, if anything.

“So, I just tried to be patient, hope the leader stops, hope he had misjudged his ride and hope I judge my ride properly.”

In a perfectly-timed performance, Collett and the Queenslander wore down the tiring Cabeza De Vaca, while the close Villiers Stakes trifecta was rounded out by the James Cummings-trained beaten favourite Interlocuter ($4), the Godolphin-raced Medaglia D’Oro five-year-old suffering his first defeat in four starts a nose back for third.

“I was a bit worried when we had to take them [the rest of the field] up to the leader,” the Woodford-based Birchley said.

“I wasn’t sure if he would keep going but to his credit, this horse tries very hard.”

A $100,000 bonus is up for grabs for the Villiers Stakes winner Crack Me Up should the galloper go on to win the Listed $300,000 Bernborough Handicap (1600m) back at Doomben Racecourse on December 30.

Birchley however is leaning towards keeping Crack Me Up fresh for a shot at the far more lucrative Magic Millions races at the Gold Coast on January 13 next month.

To back Crack Me Up next race at the hottest summer racing odds online visit Ladbrokes.com.au today.

2017 Villiers Stakes Results & Finishing Order

Randwick Race 7 – 16/12/2017

Place # Horse Trainer Jockey Margin Br. Weight SP
1 7 CRACK ME UP (NZ) Liam Birchley Jason Collett 2 54.5kg $6
2 5 CABEZA DE VACA Gai Waterhouse & Adrian Bott Joshua Parr 0.4L 11 55kg $5
3 8 INTERLOCUTER (USA) James Cummings Tye Angland 0.6L 4 54.5kg $4F
4 6 MIGHTY LUCKY Fred Cowell Chris O’Brien 0.7L 7 55kg $16
5 11 MISTER SEA WOLF (IRE) Chris Waller Cory Parish 0.9L 12 54kg $7.50
6 4 TESTASHADOW Gary Portelli Ben Melham 1.6L 8 57kg $31
7 2 RED EXCITEMENT Gerald Ryan Brenton Avdulla 2.4L 5 58kg $17
8 15 SALSONIC Jason Coyle Peter Wells 2.6L 9 53kg $26
9 3 HOPFGARTEN Robert Heathcote Christian Reith 3.1L 13 57kg $21
10 12 FEDERAL James Cummings Ms Kathy O’Hara 3.4L 6 53kg $20
11 9 DARK EYES Gai Waterhouse & Adrian Bott Adam Hyeronimus 4.3L 14 54kg $18
12 13 GOD’S IN HIM Michael, Wayne & John Hawkes Andrew Adkins (a) 5.1L 3 53kg $26
13 10 EMBLEY Bjorn Baker Josh Adams 6L 1 54kg $26
14 1 DESTINY’S KISS Joseph Pride Jay Ford 6.8L 10 59kg $101
14 SOMEDAY Desleigh Forster 0

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