Taxmeifyoucan is a narrow favourite in 2013 Villiers Stakes betting markets; with the four-year-old currently available at odds of $6 to record his maiden victory at Group level in the 1550 metre race at the Randwick Kensington track on Saturday.
Taxmeifyoucan has only recorded two wins from fourteen career starts, taking out the 2012 Vale Geoff White Handicap (1200m) at Warwick Farm and the Inglis 3YO Guineas (1400m) at Scone in May, but has returned to his best form after making a slow start to his spring campaign.
The Ad Valorem gelding started his preparation with an unlucky fourth behind Rive De Lago in the Group 2 Theo Marks Stakes (1400m) at Rosehill Gardens but failed to beat home a single runner in the Group 3 Moonga Stakes (1400m) at Caulfield.
He dropped back in grade to finish third in the Filante Handicap (1500m) at Rosehill Gardens on November 2 and was desperately unlucky not to win the Goulburn Cup (1600m); with connections protesting the judges’ decision not to declare a dead heat.
Taxmeifyoucan may not hang on to Villiers Stakes favoritism for long as there is expected to be plenty of support for imported galloper Sysmo who is currently available at a quote of $6.50.
Sysmo proved that he was good enough to compete at Group level during his winter campaign, finishing third behind Group 1 winner Quintessential in the Group 3 Chairman’s Handicap (2100m) at Eagle Farm, and has carried that form over this preparation.
The My Risk gelding resumed with a third place finish behind Nearest To Pin in the Detmold Group Handicap (1250m) at Morphettville Parks on October 5 and recorded his maiden black type victory with a win in the Listed Seymour Cup (1600m) before finishing third in the Secondbite Plate (1600m) at Flemington on November 9.
The Villiers Stakes was not the original summer target for Sysmo but trainer Tony McEvoy will now be using the Group 2 race to decide whether the four-year-old is good enough to be set for major races during the 2014 Autumn Racing Carnival.
There is very little separating the leading chances in Villiers Stakes betting markets and there has also been support for Team Hawkes-trained Ninth Legion ($8.50), the inconsistent Strike The Stars ($9), top-weight Coup Ay Tee ($10) and Chris Waller-trained Said Com ($11).