Fri, Dec 15, 11:16am by Staff Writer
After a six-week break, racing returns to Royal Randwick with the Group 2 Villiers (1600m) the feature race of the day. The rail is in the true and with warm weather expected, the track will be good.
The winner of the Villiers is guaranteed a start in next year’s Doncaster with Godolphin’s Interlocuter ($3.20) favourite for the race as the five-year-old looks to make it four straight wins, with six wins and two seconds from his nine career starts in all. Godolphin have taken their time with him and he’s working through the grades nicely with three eye-catching wins this time in.
Mister Sea Wolf ($5.50) caught the eye in his Australian debut for Chris Waller when second to Testashadow ($17) – beaten a nose – in the Group 3 Festival Stakes (1500m) after not getting the clearest passage down the straight. He was heavily backed on that occasion and he’s been supported in the all-in markets as well for this Saturday.
Cabeza De Vaca ($8.50) put five straight wins together – three before a break and two after – before an eighth of nine to Testashadow in the Festival Stakes. Testashadow lines up here and he’s third-up from a spell. His Festival win was his first when second-up, which may have been aided by the soft track which he won’t get on Saturday.
Salsonic ($18) has been specked at odds and he’s fourth-up, last campaign when fourth-up he took out the G2 QLD Guineas (1600m) while Hopfgarten ($17) and Crack Me Up ($7) bring some Queensland form into the mix.
A field of 15 will line up in the Listed Razor Sharp (1200m) with Calanda ($4.80), I Thought So ($4.80) and equal top weight Chetwood ($6) vying for favouritism in an open race.
Calanda is having his first run in Sydney this campaign, his first two runs being during the Melbourne spring with his most recent run in Doomben when beaten in a photo by Monsieur Gustave in the G3 George Moore (1200m). I Thought So has been placed at his last three runs and he’s won a trial since his last run back on Melbourne Cup day – however he is also an acceptor in Doomben – while Chetwood is first-up since a fruitless autumn campaign. He’s won two from three when fresh and comes into this off two trials, his first trial win being by over 12L. He’ll jump the widest barrier on Saturday.
Palazzo Publico ($15) has had a trial since third when first-up down the Flemington straight on Oaks day while Nancy ($19) is third-up but doesn’t win out of turn. It’s an open race and as the market suggests, there’s many chances.
A disappointing small field of seven will tackle the 2400m of the Listed Christmas Cup with Broadside ($1.70) a short odds-on favourite for the race. He’ll carry top weight of 59kg – 3.5kg above his nearest rival Green Sweet ($9.50) and 6kg above the minimum – but he comes into this off a strong win in the Listed ATC Cup (2000m).
Prince Cheri ($6.50) caught the eye when flashing home two starts back behind Black on Gold. Vassal ($5) won over this distance two starts ago and has a further four minors from his past seven runs while Green Sweet is second-up and was a winner when second-up last time in the Listed Albury Cup (2000m) on a heavy-8.
Suggested Bet: Sedanzer ($3.40) and Dreamforce ($4) dominate the market in race six. Chris Waller has a wall of middle distance/staying types in the race with Chatelard ($13) a youngster on the way up but Sedanzer and Dreamforce are in form and racing well. With Dreamforce’s awkward draw, leaning slightly to Sedanzer to make it three straight wins.
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