Jockey Tye Angland believes that the application of blinkers will help promising two-year-old Voilier perform at his best in the 2015 Todman Stakes at Royal Randwick on Saturday.
Voilier started his racing career with a win in the Sire Custodians Plate (1100m) at Rosehill Gardens on December 6 and he was far from disgraced when second behind Golden Slipper favourite Headwater in the Group 2 Silver Slipper Stakes (1100m) at Rosehill Gardens on February 21.
Angland told Sky Racing HQ that Voilier had been very casual in his two race starts to date as well as in his trackwork and he is hopeful that blinkers will help the Beneteau gelding produce a sharper performance in the Todman Stakes on Saturday.
“We threw the blinkers on just to see how he would go and he worked with a nice smart filly, one of his stablemates, and she worked a lot better than Voilier did, but I think she goes pretty well and the blinkers will switch him in now,” Angland said.
“Hopefully they just try and improve him a couple of lengths.
“I think they are required.
“For a two-year-old he is just a bit too casual at the moment.
“It is really good to work with him on the ground being a nice casual horse, but when it comes around to race days both times he hasn’t been that fired up or on the bridle as I would like him.
“When he gets to the front he is the sort of horse that switches off really quick and in his run the other day when Headwater sprinted really quick we were really flat-footed and he just didn’t tow me into the race as much as I would have liked him too.
“I think he has the ability to match it up with these horses and the blinkers will just switch him on a little bit more.”
Voilier was included in the nominations for both the Group 2 Todman Stakes (1100m) and the Group 3 Black Opal Stakes (1200m), but trainer Gary Nickson revealed earlier in the week that he was keen to test the two-year-old against the very best.
Angland has a high opinion of Voilier and he is hopeful that the juvenile can produce another competitive effort in the Todman Stakes and prove that he is worthy of a start in the Group 1 Golden Slipper Stakes (1200m) at Rosehill Gardens on March 21.
“We are eying off a Golden Slipper,” Angland said.
“He has had two starts and he obviously ran second behind Headwater and was beaten two and then there was a big to third, but in saying that we ran second behind the Golden Slipper favourite.
“He really wants to run against these top two-year-olds this weekend just to line up where we are up against Headwater, Vancouver and Furnaces.
“If we are right up there we will know where we stand in the Slipper.”
Voilier will face just Mishani Honcho, Headwater, Vancouver and Furnaces in the Todman Stakes on Saturday.