The Villiers Stakes meeting will be held at Royal Randwick this Saturday. The course proper was rated a Good 4 on Thursday and with fine weather in Sydney leading up to the weekend, Randwick will be racing on a Good track on race day.
Alward is looking to make it three wins on the trot in the Christmas Cup (Sydney Race 3, 2400m). The Waller-trained gelding started this campaign in Brisbane with a victory at Doomben over 2000m two starts back. The 7YO returned to Sydney and took out the ATC Cup (2000m) last start with Hugh Bowman on board and Bowman will once again be riding the gelding on Saturday. Alward is rock hard fit and will run the 2400m right out. From barrier 7, Bowman will settle just behind the leading bunch and Alward will be too strong in the run home.
Godolphin-owned Multaja looks the horse to beat in the Razor Sharp Handicap (Sydney Race 6, 1200m). The 4YO mare has been racing against some strong oppositions in her last couple of starts including horses like Reelem in Ruby and Madam Rouge. Down in class on Saturday will help and so will the drop back in trip to 1200m with 5 weeks between runs. With pretty good pace up front, James McDonald will settle further back than mid-field and let Multaja find her feet and she will be flying home in the last furlong.
The in-form combination of Mark Newnham and Rachel King can strike again in the Villiers Stakes with Quackerjack (Sydney Race 7, 1600m). This Not A Single Doubt gelding has been in good form this preparation, resuming with a 3rd in a BM88 handicap on 12th October followed by victory in the Goulburn Cup. The 4YO looked all over the winner last start in The Gong before being just nipped on the line by Mister Sea Wolf. Quackerjack relishes with space between runs and the 3 weeks between The Gong and The Villiers looks perfect. He also has a good record at Randwick with 3 wins and 2 placings from 8 starts at the venue. King will go to the front from barrier 11 and Quackerjack is the horse they all have to catch.
By Owens Wong, Editor