A capacity field of Stradbroke Handicap hopefuls...
The Anthony and Edward Cummings trained Sky Boy will be chasing his fifth win on trot when he lines up in the Group 2 $250,000 Villiers Stakes (1600m) at Randwick on Saturday.
Sky Boy is one of twenty-two horses nominated for the Villiers Stakes and the four year old gelding will be facing his toughest test to data after working his way up through the grades with four straight wins.
Sky Boy is dropping back to 1600m coming off a last start win in an 1800m BenchMark 88 Handicap at Rosehill on November 24 but Anthony Cummings can’t see as a disadvantage against his chances in the Villiers Stakes.
“The three weeks between runs suits and he will be sharp enough for the 1600 metres,” Cummings told AAP.
Cummings is also hoping for a win in Villiers Stakes which will guarantee Sky Boy a place in the Group 1 $3m The Star Doncaster Mile (1600m) at Randwick on Day One of The Championship during the 20119 Sydney Autumn Carnival.
“The plan is to win the Villiers which gets him into the Doncaster Mile,” Cummings said.
Christian Reith has been aboard Sky Boy for his last three wins and gets the ride again on the gelding who has been handicapped on the 53kg minimum.
The Gai Waterhouse and Adrian Bott trained Fabrizio heads the weights with 59kg while the Chris Waller trained My Nordic Hero is number one in the order of entry coming off a last start win in the Group 3 $160,000 Festival Stakes (1500m) at Rosehill on December 1.
Fabrizio also had to carry the top weight of 61.5kg last start when second to Interlocuter in the $150,000 Goulburn Cup (1600m) at Goulburn on November 25 and that pair look set to clash again in the Villiers Stakes with the James Cummings trained Interlocuter handicapped with 56.5kg.
Waller has also nominated Life Less Ordinary (58.5kg), Satano Rasen (56kg), Sambro (55kg) and Alward (54kg) for the Villiers Stakes while James Cummings also has multiple entries with Duca Valentinois (57.5kg), Spectroscope (56kg) and Gaulois (53kg).
Bookies at Ladbrokes.com.au have installed Sky Boy as the $4.60 favourite for the 2018 Villiers Stakes ahead of My Nordic Hero at $6.50 and the Steven O’Dea trained Doubt Defying at $8.
Early betting for the 2018 Villiers Stakes at Ladbrokes.com.au: $4.60 Sky Boy, $6.50 My Nordic Hero, $8 Doubt Defying, $10 Interlocuter, $12 Gaulois, Goodfella, $13 Fierce Impact, Red Excitement, $14 Aloisia, $15 Fabrizio, Life Less Ordinary, $18 Pecans, Spectroscope, $21 Duca Valentinois, $26 Articus, $34 Grande Rosso, Tip Top, $51 Roman Son, $61 Alward, $81 Santo Rasen, $101 Plaisir.
Nominations for the 2018 Villiers Stakes (1600m)
|#||Last 10||Horse||Sex||Age||Trainer||Ballot||Weight||True Weight||Hcp Rating|
|1||4221572×21||MY NORDIC HERO (GB)||G||7||Chris Waller||1||57.5kg||57.5kg||101|
|2||19x957x432||FABRIZIO||G||7||Gai Waterhouse & Adrian Bott||2=||59kg||59kg||104|
|4||116×543523||LIFE LESS ORDINARY (IRE)||G||7||Chris Waller||4=||58.5kg||58.5kg||103|
|5||240×920143||RED EXCITEMENT||G||9||Gerald Ryan||4=||58.5kg||58.5kg||103|
|6||03768×8300||ALOISIA (NZ)||M||4||Ciaron Maher & David Eustace||4=||56.5kg||56.5kg||103|
|7||21×0407376||DUCA VALENTINOIS (IRE)||G||7||James Cummings||7=||57.5kg||57.5kg||101|
|8||x761x76457||GRANDE ROSSO||G||7||Peter & Paul Snowden||7=||57.5kg||57.5kg||101|
|9||68457×4041||INTERLOCUTER (USA)||G||6||James Cummings||9||56.5kg||56.5kg||99|
|10||8x947x009x||SATONO RASEN (JPN)||G||7||Chris Waller||10=||56kg||56kg||98|
|11||x49343x394||SPECTROSCOPE (USA)||G||6||James Cummings||10=||56kg||56kg||98|
|12||591115×116||DOUBT DEFYING||G||5||Steven O’Dea||12||55.5kg||55.5kg||97|
|14||32267×3904||ALWARD (IRE)||G||6||Chris Waller||14||54kg||54kg||94|
|16||525x080x23||ARTICUS (FR)||G||7||Kris Lees||16=||53kg||53kg||91|
|17||413×331111||SKY BOY||G||4||Anthony & Edward Cummings||16=||53kg||53kg||91|
|19||x76x2115x6||ROMAN SON||G||5||Richard Freedman||19||53kg||53kg||84|
|20||14×4011463||TIP TOP||G||6||Les Bridge||20||53kg||53kg||82|
|21||34x31x2832||FIERCE IMPACT (JPN)||H||5||Matthew Smith||21||53kg||53kg||80|
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