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The 2018 Australian Guineas in March is a confirmed early autumn target for Aaron Purcell’s Sandown Guineas winning colt Villermont.
The well-bred son of All Too Hard showed he had come through his spell well with a smart Caulfield trial on Tuesday morning.
A winner of two of his four career runs to date, Villermont was last seen saluting on November 18 last year at Ladbrokes Park in the Group 2 Sandown Guineas (1600m).
That was the three-year-old’s first run in black-type company and right away Purcell tipped him as a Group 1 contender in the autumn.
Purcell remains convinced the up-and-comer will make a nice type for the Group 1 $1 million Australian Guineas (1600m) at Flemington on March 3 following Villermont’s 800m hit-out.
The trial was won impressively by Mick Price’s 2018 Oakleigh Plate-bound Ardrossan and also featured the fellow Price-trained Caulfield Guineas winner Mighty Boss who is set to resume in the Group 1 $500,000 Ladbrokes C.F. Orr Stakes (1400m) on February 10.
As for Villermont, he turned the head of Purcell and could also be Sydney-bound for a race such as the Group 1 $600,000 Rosehill Guineas (2000m) on March 24.
“He was a horse that the stable always thought would make a better autumn three-year-old and he didn’t have a very busy spring,” Purcell told Racing Victoria.
“He spelled terrific and looked amazing in the yard this morning and I thought his trial was solid.
“He’s a horse that will head towards the Guineas.”
Tarzino (2nd in 2016) was the last Rosehill Guineas winner to come off an Australian Guineas lead-up.
A far more popular lead-up option is the Group 1 $1 million Randwick Guineas (1600m) run this year on March 10.
Purcell also had his Azamour filly Aloisia at the Tuesday morning heats at Caulfield in her first public appearance since running sixth as the beaten favourite behind Pinot in the Group 1 $1 million VRC Oaks (2500m) at Flemington.
Prior to that Aloisia was on fire saluting in the Group 1 $500,000 Thousand Guineas (1600m) and Group 2 Moonee Valley Vase (2040m), defeating Cliff’s Edge in the latter by three and a half-lengths.
Like her stablemate Villermont, Aloisia is 2018 Australian Guineas-bound in Melbourne this campaign.
She will run in the Group 1 mile second-up following a resuming run against her own kind on Black Caviar Lightning Day, February 17, at Flemington in the Group 3 $150,000 The Vanity (1400m).
Shamrocker (2011) and Mosheen (2012) were the last fillies to win the Australian Guineas and both came off a The Vanity run when placed fourth and second respectively.
To get behind Purcell’s Australian Guineas contingent this season at the right autumn racing odds online, head to Ladbrokes.com.au.
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