Talented three year old Levendi is sharing favouritism with Sandown Guineas winner Villermont in the early betting for the Group 2 $200,000 Hyland Race Colours Autumn Stakes (1400m) at Caulfield on Saturday.
In a wide open betting market at Ladbrokes.com.au, the Peter Gelagotis trained Levendi and Aaron Purcell’s colt Villermont share the top spot in the market order at $5 each ahead of Darren Weir’s Prevailing Wins at $8 and Villermont’s stablemate Black Sail at $9.
Levendi rose to prominence during the 2017 Melbourne Spring Carnival with a win in the Group 3 $200,000 The Carbine Club Stakes (1600m) at Flemington on the first day of the four day Melbourne Cup Carnival.
The Peter Gelagotis trained gelding moves into barrier eight with the early scratching of the Team Snowden trained Island Missile and will be ridden by Damien Oliver who has a very high opinion of the Pierro gelding.
Levendi is being aimed towards the Group 1 $1m Australian Guineas (1600m) at Flemington on March 3 and Oliver is confident that he will be very competitive at that level.
“I’m looking forward to riding Levendi,” Oliver told racing.com.
“I think he’s a really progressive three-year-old, he was a great last-start winner of the Carbine Club.”
e seems to have made nice progression this time around.”
“I am really excited to ride him in Saturday’s Autumn Stakes and heading toward the Australian Guineas.”
Villermont has drawn one spot to the inside of Levendi with Luke Nolen in the saddle again after steering the All Too Hard colt to victory in the Group 2 $250,000 Sandown Guineas (1600m) at Sandown at the end of the Melbourne Spring Carnival.
Villermont’s stablemate Black Sail was a consistent performer during the Spring with several placings in restricted grade before running his best race of the campaign for a third in the Sandown Guineas with Mark Zahra holding the reins.
Regan Bayliss takes over on Black Sail who will jump from barrier three in the Autumn Classic field that has been reduced to twelve runner following the early scratchings of Island Missile and Cao Cao.
The Autumn Classic result will have a substantial effect on the Australian Guineas market order at Ladbrokes.com.au that currently has Levendi marked at $9 and Villermont at $11 behind Aloisia and Cliff’s Edge at $5.50 and Peaceful State at $7.50.