Bendigo trainer Shaun Dwyer won’t have to search far for a replacement rider for his smart filly Villa Verde after regular rider Michael Rodd was suspended at Moonee Valley last night.
Villa Verde is set to resume in the Group 2 $300,000 Reisling Stakes (1200m) at Rosehill next week as her only lead up run to the Group 1 $3.5m Tooheys New Golden Slipper (1200m) at Rosehill on April 6.
The Not A Single Doubt filly is currently the $7 second favourite for the Golden Slipper courtesy of two Melbourne wins with Rodd aboard but Dwyer will have to select a new rider for Rosehill next week after Rodd received a fourteen meeting suspension.
Rodd pleaded guilty to causing interference at the winning post the first time in the Group 2 $220,000 Sportingbet Alister Clark Stakes (2040m) when he allowed his mount Sheer Talent to move in onto Hvasstan who then moved in causing Bass Strait to be checked.
“It’s not ideal,” Rodd said.
“I let my emotion get into my head, I was angry that the others kicked up inside me.”
It is expected that Rodd will be back on Villa Verde in the Golden Slipper after establishing a great association with the filly and Dwyer.
Rodd has also travelled to Bendigo to partner the grey filly in a couple of gallops and a jump out and has been impressed with her progress.
“I think she’s improved, she feels a lot stronger,” Rodd said.
“There’s still improvement there and she looks like she’s on track.
“She comes to hand quickly. That’s something we’ve noticed over time. After each gallop she’s tightened up noticeably.”
“She’s a bigger horse. She’s grown a little bit height wise but the biggest thing I’ve noticed is she’s thickened up so much. She’s a lot bigger over the bum and her girth’s a lot thicker.”
“It’s fantastic the progress that she’s shown and all that equals more power.”
Dwyer decided to miss the Group 1 $1m Patinack Farm Blue Diamond Stakes (1200m) at Caulfield on February 23 in favour of a Golden Slipper preparation and sent Villa Verde straight to the paddock after winning over 1000m in the Listed $120,000 7News Plate at Flemington on November 6 at her second race start.
Gai Waterhouse’s filly Overreach holds the top spot in the early Golden Slipper market at $4.40 with Clarry Connors’ slick filly Assail on the third line of betting at $15.