The Joe Pride-trained sprint star Eduardo is red...
The autumn Group 1 racing action already starts to take shape on Saturday with a Doncaster Mile ballot exemption on offer in Sydney’s Villiers Stakes 2016, betting tips for the Royal Randwick Group 2 found below.
Set to run as Randwick Race 7 at 4:20pm (AEDT) on Saturday afternoon, the field for this season’s $250,000 Group 2 Villiers Stakes (1600m) is down to 15 starters.
Three early scratchings have already been recorded with Malice (5), Kenjorwood (12) and Loyalty Man (17) ruled out of a shot at the handicap showdown.
Heading the latest Villiers Stakes odds at Ladbrokes.com.au and tipped the most likely to get the ballot free run into April’s Group 1 Doncaster Mile (1600m) next year is the Gai Waterhouse & Adrian Bott-trained Fabrizio ($3.20).
The progressive High Chaparral five-year-old was last seen posting a smart 3.25 length Melbourne Cup day win at Flemington in the Listed Cup Day Plate (1800m).
He’s been freshened-up since and trialled beautifully at Rosehill on December 6 with a 1030m winning hit-out ahead of Saturday’s Group w where he shoots for a third win from five starts at Randwick.
The gelding is also a gun over a mile with three wins from his five 1600m starts so far and is the one to beat.
The biggest dangers in Villiers Stakes betting according to the bookies are Ciaron Maher’s last start Festival Stakes runner-up Hazzabeel ($8.50) and last Saturday’s Rosehill winner High Midnight ($9).
So will the punters rejoice or is there an upset Villiers Stakes result pending from the likes of the market mover Rudy ($10) who won the race back in 2014, Peter & Paul Snowden’s six-year-old Pajaro ($10) or the imported Sarrasin ($16) in his down under debut for Lee & Anthony Freedman?
#7 Fabrizio ($3.20)
Firm favourite and deservedly so. He’s coming off back-to-back wins including one at this track and distance by over four lengths back in mid-October. Carted 56kg to victory there and won with 54kg on his back at Flemington by over three lengths over 1800m. Distance off a 46-day turnaround looks spot-on and he’s three-from-five at the metres. Recent trial win in Sydney has him spot-on, 55.5kg gets him in well with the weights and will take some beating. Shaping up as a nice 2017 Doncaster Mile hope for Waterhouse to chase her eighth win with.
#14 Sense Of Occasion ($31)
Outside of the favourite there looks to be value galore in this year’s Villiers Stakes including this over-the-odds Kris Lees-trained Newcastle galloper. A six-year-old son of Street Sense, the gelding has been thereabouts all year including a Listed Premier’s Cup (1900m) win at Rosehill in late August, close fourth in the Group 3 Newcastle Cup (2200m) and brave fifth in the Group 1 The Metropolitan (2400m) at Randwick on October 1. He was only beaten 2.3 lengths that day and has since had one start when fourth over the same track / distance on October 15. Goes well fresh, comes off a winning Gosford hit-out from December 5 and is yet to run out of the money at a mile (3-0-2-1). Very well weighted on the 54kg minimum, drawn a treat in barrier four and ticking too many boxes to ignore for a place.
#6 Rudy ($10)
Helen Page’s Gold Coast visitor won the 2014 Villiers Stakes and is back two years later looking for another big run at Randwick. He comes off a fourth at Eagle Farm behind Cylinder Beach in the Listed Recognition Stakes (1400m) when beaten only two lengths carrying 59.5kg. Drops right back to 56.5kg here and will relish the 1600m having won four of his nine starts at the distance. Big hope for a top three finish if he’s at his best.
Get in on our exclusive Villiers Stakes 2016 tips online now at Ladbrokes.com.au and enjoy access to Odds Boost Extra on the race (T&Cs apply).
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