The Villiers Stakes preview

By guest reviewer Todd Burmester

The Villiers Stakes, which is usually run at Randwick fits into that category of “big Randwick mile race” that generally is as open as the Sydney Heads. It does not usually have the class of a Doncaster or an Epsom but is generally just as challenging from a punting point of view. This year it will be staged at Warwick Farm and the challenge in terms of finding the winner is as fierce as ever. To my way of thinking, the best place to start is to name the horse I think is the best lay in the race and that is Shadowfax. It’s a horse that can look impressive on its day against average rivals but it is also one that on more than on occasion has let the punters down including last start. I definitely see this as a harder race for it and just can’t have it. Its biggest asset on Saturday is the bloke sitting on top, he is very good! King Lionheart and Lightinthenite shape as the two best chances in the race in my opinion. King Lionheart also fits into the beaten favourite category last start but based on proven class previously I am prepared to forgive it that run. Lightinthenite gets the weight advantage and whilst it as such hasn’t proven its class, it was one of the only runners to seriously chase Monton last start.It could be the horse on the way up and is a Waterhouse/Rawiller runner which as we know is a great combination to have on your side. Monton obviously beat King Lionheart and Lightinthenite last start, somewhat surprisingly to the market, so for that reason has to be given its chance here. The other two runners I would highlight at slightly longer odds are Fibrillation and Kontiki Park based on their last runs. Both went very well and could make improvement going into this. New Day Rising and My Destiny are obviously both in form but this is not their race in my opinion from a class point of view. One probably could go on and name other chances as I suggested in the opening paragraph, but you can’t tip them all.