Leading form analyst Adam Blencowe has Sir Moments on top of his 2014 Villiers Stakes tips, but believes that Strawberry Boy represents the best value in the Group 2 event at Royal Randwick on Saturday.
Strawberry Boy made his debut for the Chris Waller stable when he took out the Listed Toyota Ladies Day Cup (1400m) at Hawkesbury on November 6 and he was only run down late by I’m Imposing and Estonian Princess in the Listed Festival Stakes (1500m) at Rosehill Gardens on November 29.
Blencowe told RSN that he rated Strawberry Boy’s Festival Stakes effort as one of the best performances of his racing career to date and he is happy to back the Redoute’s Choice gelding at his current Villiers Stakes odds of $7.
“The way that the current market sits I thought that Strawberry Boy was a little bit over the odds,” Blencowe said.
“He is two from at the mile and this sets up well for him.
“His Festival effort was terrific, as good as he has gone on our figures, and in that sort of form he comes here with a better than a $7 or $8 chance.
“I think that he is the one that I would like to have running for me.”
Blencowe believes that the Festival Stakes is the key form guide to the Villiers Stakes and was impressed with the performances of Estonian Princess and Sir Moments in the Listed event, but he is not ruling out Helen Page-trained Rudy, who stamped himself as a Villiers Stakes contender when he recorded a fast-finishing win in the Listed Recognition Stakes (1630m) at Doomben on November 29.
“It is a good old classic mile handicap at Randwick, which always produce good betting options,” Blencowe said.
“I think that Sir Moments is going to be really hard to beat and I think that he ran a really nice trial for the race in the Festival Stakes.
“I thought Estonian Princess was good there as well and Rudy off the Listed win up in Brisbane measure up on our figures as well.”
Sir Moment has been backed into 2014 Villiers Stakes odds of $4.80 and is currently a clear favourite from Rudy ($7.50 out to $6.50), Team Snowden-trained Rose Of Choice ($7.50 into $7), Strawberry Boy ($5.50 out to $7) and Estonian Princess ($8 into $7).