The Villiers Stakes is always one of the best betting races of the summer and that is set to be the case again at Royal Randwick this Saturday.

Sky Boy has opened as a clear favourite in our Villiers Stakes betting market, but there is plenty of depth in this field and he won’t have things his own way.

Will Sky Boy secure ballot-exempt entry into the Doncaster Mile with a Villiers Stakes win or will there be an upset? We have analysed the entire field and our complete 2018 Villiers Stakes tips can be found below.


Fabrizio is knocking on the door of another race win. He returned from a lengthy lay-off with a tough effort in the Filante Handicap at Royal Randwick and he has since raced well without winning in the Ladies Day Cup and the Goulburn Cup. This is a step-up in quality, but he is capable of a high-rating effort on his day and he makes his own luck right on the speed. The $17 currently available is over the odds.

Red Excitement

Red Excitement drops back in trip after winning the Lidoran Group Handicap and racing fairly in the November Topaz and ATC Cup. The wide barrier draw means that Tommy Berry will likely ride him aggressively in the early stages of this contest and that is generally when he produces his best form. It would not surprise to see him produce a forward showing.

Duca Valentinois

Duca Valentinois returned to a semblance of his best form with a third place finish in the Crystal Mile and he didn’t have a great deal of luck in either the Furphy Plate or the Festival Stakes. He is another horse that is probably a better chance than his current odds suggest.

Grande Rosso

Grande Rosso has been racing fairly this campaign without ever really looking like a genuine winning chance. He finished seventh in the Festival Stakes and that looks about his level at this stage of his racing career.

My Nordic Hero

My Nordic Hero stamped himself as a leading Villiers Stakes contender with his impressive win in the Festival Stakes. He showed a nice turn-of-foot in that contest and I still think that he would need to improve on that performance to win this contest. The wide barrier draw is tricky and Hugh Bowman will likely be forced to settle the Archipenko gelding in the second half of the field.


Aloisia is not the same horse that she was during the 2017 Spring Racing Carnival. She savaged the line to finish third in the Tristarc Stakes at Caulfield during the Spring, but she failed to fire in the Empire Rose Stakes and the Matriarch Stakes. It has been over a year since she won a race and I have to oppose her in this contest.


Interlocuter returned to winning form with a narrow victory in the Goulburn Cup. He did get the run of the race in that contest and had all the favours, but he looks to get just as good a run with James McDonald in the saddle in the Villiers Stakes. I can’t rule him out completely and he looks to have found his right price.

Satono Rasen

Satono Rasen will return to the races for the first time since he failed to fire in the Hill Stakes. He has never fired in Australia and his recent trial at Rosehill Gardens was poor. He is the extreme outsider of the field for a reason.

Doubt Defying

Doubt Defying has been freshened-up since he finished a credible sixth in the Mackinnon Stakes at Flemington during the Melbourne Cup Carnival. Before that he won the Cellarbrations Handicap and the Ladbrokes Sale Cup in impressive fashion and he is one of the only horses in this field with any real upside. Michael Walker will be able to settle him right on the speed from barrier three and I think that he is the horse to beat.


Sambro has been given a couple of barrier trials since he finished second behind Torgersen in the Filante Handicap. He is a horse that generally improves with more racing under his belt and his first-up record isn’t flash.


Goodfella has been racing consistently without being able to break through for another race win. He raced a touch flat as favourite in The Star Mile before he produced a much improved performance in the Festival Stakes. You can know what you are going to get from the Snitzel entire and the wide barrier draw does make things tough.


Articus is another horse that comes out of the Goulburn Cup. There was a fair bit to like about his performance in that contest, but he does generally produce his best form second-up and his third-up record is poor.

Sky Boy

Sky Boy is currently a clear favourite in our Villiers Stakes betting market. Sky Boy has now recorded four wins on the trot and his last start victory at Rosehill Gardens was particularly impressive. There is no doubt that he is a horse with upside, but this is easily the toughest test of his racing career to date and he will need to go to another level. I have plenty of respect for the horse, but I can’t get him as short as his current odds.


Gaulois is another horse that represents a touch of value at his current quote. He has raced well without winning during his Summer campaign to date and he has recorded two wins from his three third-up starts. He maps to get a lovely run just behind the leaders, with Corey Brown in the saddle, and the $9.50 currently available is well and truly over the odds.

Fierce Impact

Fierce Impact has promised plenty without really delivering since he arrived in Australia. He does have form around Sky Boy and he wasn’t disgraced in the Toorak Handicap, but he has become fairly expensive for punters. The wide draw isn’t ideal and he would need plenty of luck in running to be a genuine chance.