The Villiers Stakes headlines a big afternoon of racing at Royal Randwick on Saturday and a ballot-exempt position in the Doncaster Mile is on the line.
Quackerjack has been well-supported in early Villiers Stakes betting with Ladbrokes, but he won’t have things his own way against a field that is full of quality.
We have analysed every horse in the field and our complete Villiers Stakes tips can be found below.
Invincible Gem is once again over the odds at his current odds of $16. He had plenty of excuses when he was beaten first-up in The Hunter and he only knocked up late in the Festival Stakes. That tough run should have him at his peak for the Villiers Stakes and on his best form he has a class edge over the rest of this field.
Gold Fields has gone to another level as a seven-year-old this campaign. He claimed the biggest win of his racing career to date in the Ladbrokes Sale Cup before he produced that win was no fluke with his victory in the Ladbrokes Sandown Stakes. The Churchill Downs gelding probably needs to improve again to be a genuine winning chance in the Villiers Stakes and $9.50 is around the right price.
El Dorado Dreaming
El Dorado Dreaming is still chasing that elusive second race win. She found the line nicely to finish third in the Hot Danish Stakes and she ran some of the fastest closing sectionals in the race in The Gong. The problem is, she always run on well without winning and it really is tough to back her with any real confidence.
Sambro finished a credible fourth behind Sky Boy in the Villiers Stakes 12 months ago and he is back for another crack at the race. His first-up effort in the Festival Stakes was very poor and it is tough to back him in the Villiers Stakes off that performance.
Quackerjack is a clear favourite in Villiers Stakes and he is the horse to beat. He was able to return to winning form with an impressive win in the Goulburn Cup and he had no luck in running when he finished a close second behind Mister Sea Wolf in The Gong. Barrier ten is a little bit awkward and he will need some luck in running, but if he gets that he will be tough to beat.
Ranier comes into the Villiers Stakes on the back of a tough victory in the Festival Stakes and that is always a strong form reference. It will be interesting to see what tactics Kerrin McEvoy employs on Ranier in the early stages of this race and he is a horse that does have tactical versatility. He is right in this race and the $8 does represent a touch of value.
Live And Free
Live And Free didn’t have a huge amount of luck in the Festival Stakes and he was still able to finish a very close second behind Ranier. Glen Boss will need to take him a long way back from the wide barrier draw and he will have plenty of work to do in the concluding stages.
Noble Boy was racing well without winning at the start of his campaign and he never really got a crack at them in The Gong. He is another that will get a long way back in the run and he will need to reel off some impressive closing sectionals to be a genuine winning chance. I am happy to take him on at $9.50.
You never know when Siren’s Fury pops up to win a race at big odds and it wouldn’t shock to see her run a big race in this contest. She wasn’t beaten far in The Hunter or the Festival Stakes and she has won third-up in the past. The Myboycharlie mare will be giving her rivals a big start, but she is not the worst roughie in this race.
Goodfella finished a tough third in the Goulburn Cup, but he hasn’t been able to replicate that effort in either The Hunter or The Gong. It has been over a year since he recorded a race win and he is one of the extreme outsiders for a reason.
Le Juge has been sent back to Sydney after missing the placings in both the Mooloolaba Cup and the Brisbane Handicap. This is tougher again.
Aqua D’ivina produced a huge form reversal to win at Kembla Grange last start and she is a mare that is capable of a high-rating performance on her day. She generally does run well at Royal Randwick and the mile is probably her pet distance. I expect her to produce a better performance than her current odds suggest.
Strome has been scratched from the 2019 Villiers Stakes field.
Bobbing has been thereabouts without winning in The Kosciuszko, Prime 7 Handicap and the Festival Stakes. He should be in the mix, but I’m not sure that he has the upside to win and the $9 currently available is under the odds.
Mushaireb has raced well without winning during his campaign to date and he is an import that still has the scope to improve. It wouldn’t surprise to see him benefit from the solid tempo that the big field will generate in the Villiers Stakes and he should be flying home late.