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Villiers Stakes preview

As the calendar year draws to a close, for Australian thoroughbred fans, that usually means the Perth carnival and the Villiers Stakes at Randwick. Well, usually it's at Randwick, this time they've elected to race on the controversial Kensington track which is inside the main course at NSW racing HQ. Providing the insightful preview for the race are those smart fellas at PremiumPunting. Check their site for details of their ratings, or follow them on Twitter via @premiumpunting.

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Villiers Stakes at Kensington
1550m G2 QUALITY 3YO+
Race 6 run at 4:30pm


Speed Map:

Likely to be an even speed with the leaders ticking along at a better than average clip. Listen Son will pounce from an inside draw leading a pair who will have to cross the field – chance for either Limes, Taxmeifyoucan or Monton to decide to either force the pair wide or to settle behind Listen Son in a more prominent position. Midfield settler Alma’s Fury will have a lovely opportunity of peeling out at the bend.

To view the speed map, click here

NB: We have listed the price of horses we have under $15.00, our rating shown.

1. COUP AY TEE
Freshened after a one paced fade in NZ. Have to entrust Waller, however it is never ideal for a horse to present into a G2 after being freshened when his fresh form is not convincing. Looks to be caught back along the rail needing luck. Has queries I doubt he can overcome.

2. WESTERN SYMBOL
Resuming after a 420d spell. Trial was interesting; he made ground on them late after settling back. Think jockey Berry will not concede too big of a head start to the leaders and drive early, parking just off midfield. Hard to get a true gauge on how the horse has returned until we see how he performs on race day.

3. ALMA’S FURY $7.60
We have predicted that he will return the highest weight rating in the race. Is ready to springboard after two identical ratings in his runs following a 59d let up. Sat on a slow speed last start and battled on strongly, not possessing the sprint of two fast and extremely talented horses White Sage and Terravista. Is peaking now and the speed map is enticing for jockey Clark to allow others to cross and work early, whilst he waits on them to tire in the straight before pouncing at the 300m. He has the closing sprint to catch them. Despite his concerning strike rate of 6/40, he can peak in this.

4. DESTINY’S KISS
Will have support. Has returned with two runs indicating that he will thrive over further ground and most will anticipate that he will boast a far higher performance figure 3rd up. However he only rises 50m in distance from last start and the tempo here is not fast enough for him to simply settle and blouse them. Expect a scenario similar to last start where he battled very well late. He will flourish over further ground deeper into this campaign.

5. SAID COM $9.40
Is typically enticing to the public as he is visually appealing at the closing 200m of a race where he makes good ground. Pace was against last start losing to Alma’s Fury, he settled midfield then battled on – as we see so regularly. He will have traffic ahead of him shall jockeys not fan wide at the bend, and unless he can reach full speed at the 300m he will not be capable of running over them. Has the appropriate jockey Hugh Bowman to determine an accurate path in the sprint for him to catch them and the tempo is slightly quicker than last start. Positives are always find when analysing him, however he has proved unprofitable often.

6. MONTON
Poor run last start and had his chance to pounce on Alma’s Fury if good enough. Hasn’t returned a rating that would win this since the start of 2013 where he was excellent in two performances. Hard to trust.

7. STRIKE THE STARS
Prior to last start he was on a steady rise and destined to peak. He settled in a back trail behind a slow speed then battled on one paced. Doubt sits in the final running line here, but he will be back and unless the tempo is fast and the leaders tire, it is unlikely he can produce a quick enough time over the final 400m to be factored as a winning hope. Risk at the current price.

8. NINTH LEGION $7.70
Margin unfair last start, sat on the speed in the White Sage race but was blocked for room when needing to wind up, then tightened at the 75m. margin of defeat can be ignored, it is more suitable to analyse his form immediately prior to last start. He was excellent two ago, beating a handy field when sitting on the speed and kicking at the 200m. He can gain the box seat here, trailing Listen Son with cover preserving enough energy to deliver a final kick. Is at peak fitness now and will return to his career best. Mighty hope.

9. SCREAM MACHINE $9.40
Barrier the immediate concern as he will most likely have to concede that he will settle last. Missed the kick at Goulburn then cruised to midfield and gathered good speed in the straight. Loses 4.5kgs which inevitably helps his closing speed and he has the ability to rate higher than last start given only three runs ago he returned a PB rating and was ridden poorly. Has to be driven at the horses in front of him early by Hyeronimus.

10. LISTEN SON $12.00
Freshened after an OK run at Eagle Farm leading a good speed and then fighting on well with 3kgs higher than he has today. Will lead this field and the pressure is not as strong as he had last run however the class of runners trailing him are better. He is 1/9 when first up which forces concern when looking at a 42d break into this and he has produced only 3 runs in his career that would win this. Will be caught.

11. SYSMO $9.00
Running well and doubt that a 35d break will have any threat to his improvement. Likely to peak as he presents 4th up here, similarly to last campaign where he peaked 4th up back from a spell. Will be well back, likely in the last line but he has the ability to round up horses quickly. It would be wise of jockey McDonald to drive just off midfield inside Western Symbol, but I doubt he will do that. Given he is a staying type, a move on the leaders prior to the bend at the 600m may not pose major concern to his energy level. His performance is largely dependent on the jockeys decisions. A chance off the right run.

12. TAXMEIFYOUCAN $7.40
Striking form at the right it time here. Has elevated his rating past 3 starts and presents here at his peak fitness. Ran a PB rating last start, camped 4LO them and battled on well to narrowly lose. Can find a nice position here tucked in, close enough to be driven at the leaders at the bend. It is unknown whether or not he can improve upon a career peak though a weight reduction of 4kg helps. He only needs slight improvement, credit his trainer if he is capable of doing so.

13. LIMES
Likely to reach a career high performance and repeat his form cycle of last campaign when peaking 4th up. Faced the breeze in a prominent position last start and battled one paced. Faces a concern from a speed map perspective here, jockey McEvoy has an immediate concern as he either settles back which is unfavourable to the horses racing pattern, or he concedes that he will be wide throughout the run. Is he capable of winning G2 when running further than his rivals? Unlikely.

14. ABALSON $8.50
In good form and the potential looms for him to improve further upon last start given he reached his (at the time) career best rating 6th up last campaign. Was excellent last start at Doomben on a heavy surface, settling outside the leader, taking over at the bend and running away with good speed to the line. Can gain the 1×1 here but has to pounce early or he will be trapped wide. Always interesting to see a horse step back from a heavy surface to a good 3, however he can handle this condition. Might look the winner approaching the bend.

Selections:

8,12,3,11

Recommended Bets:
2 units Alma’s Fury and 3 units Ninth Legion to win
2 units Absalon to place

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