Villa Verde on track for The Galaxy

By: Mark Mazzaglia
March 25th, 2014

Rejuvenated sprinter Villa Verde is on track for the Group 1 $400,000 The Galaxy (1100m) at Rosehill following some sparkling track work at Randwick this morning.

Villa Verde was back in the winner's stall after taking out the Challenge Stakes.

Villa Verde was back in the winner's stall after taking out the Challenge Stakes. Photo by Steve Hart.

With James McDonald aboard, Villa Verde worked on the course proper over 800m in 53.72s, running home the final 400m in 11.88s.

Trainer Anthony Cummings was pleased with the hit out and is expecting another bold showing from the Not A Single Doubt filly on Saturday.

“She has been very bright and well since then,” Cummings told AAP

“And she has been very keen going about her work without being silly.”

Villa Verde is certain to start at shorter odds than the $14 that she was sent out at before winning the Group 2 $400,000 Challenge Stakes (1000m) at Randwick on March 15.

The former top two year old was having her first start for the Cummings stable after being prepared by Bendigo trainer Shaun Dwyer before being sent up to Sydney for the Autumn Carnival.

Villa Verde was considered one of the top chances for the Group 1 $3.5m Tooheys New Golden Slipper (1200m) at Rosehill twelve months ago after finishing second to Overreach in the Group 2 $300,000 Reisling Stakes (1200m) at Rosehill.

But after drawing off the track Villa Verde had no luck to finish seventh in the Golden Slipper behind the Overreach again.

Villa Verde looked good in defeating Snitzerland in the Challenge Stakes and will meet the Black Caviar Lightning winner one kilo better in The Galaxy.

Another good performance will see Villa Verde head towards the Group 1 $2.5m Darley T J Smith Stakes (1200m) at Randwick on April 12 and join Cummings’ other smart sprinter Fontelina.

Fontelina has pulled up well after his unlucky second to Spirit Of Boom in the Group 1 $400,000 Hacer Group William Reid Stakes (1200m) at Moonee Valley last Friday and will now head to Randwick on April 12, the first day of the two day carnival of ‘The Championships’.

“It was probably the best he has pulled up from any of his races in the last few years,” Cummings told TVN this morning.

“We are very pleased with that.

Villa Verde has been rated a $15 chance with Ladbrokes.com.au for the T J Smith Stakes while Fontelina has been marked a $21 chance.

The Mick Price trained Lankan Rupee heads the betting at $3.60 ahead of top Queensland sprinter Buffering at $6.50 and Chris Waller’s smart three year old Zoustar at $7 while Snitzerland and Coolmore Classic winner Steps In Time are both at $10.

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