Country galloper Villamill will be making her black type racing debut in the 2014 Ramornie Handicap at Grafton this afternoon and jockey Matthew Paget is not ruling the consistent mare out of contention in the Listed race.
Villamill started her winter campaign with a fast-finishing third in the Book A Carnival VIP Ticket (1115m) at Grafton on April 8 before scoring the sixth win of her racing career in the Grafton Vet Clinic Handicap (1220m) on April 24.
The Minardi mare was far from disgraced when she finished ninth behind Timeless Prince in the Pages Equipment Country Cup (1400m) at Scone on May 16 and she returned to winning form with an impressive victory over a strong field in the John Carlton Cup (1206m) at Grafton on July 3.
Villamill was ridden close to the pace in the John Carlton Cup but with plenty of speed expected in the Ramornie Handicap, Paget told Sky Racing HQ that he will settle the five-year-old towards the tail of the field when she jumps from barrier 11 this afternoon.
“I have to have a chat to connections about exactly what we are going to do,” Paget said.
“He did have a pattern of racing back and I noticed in his last few starts that he has been racing on the pace.
“From sort of a wide alley with the better class horses, they usually go pretty quick in a Ramornie, and I think that we would just find our feet and either get on the back of a Big Money or a Territory to help us work into it.
“This is beautiful track, it has a big long sweeping turn into a nice big straight and it gives every horse a chance especially when the rail is in the true.”
Villamill was purchased for just $2500 at the 2010 Inglis Scone Select Yearling Sale, but she has accumulated over $100,000 in prizemoney for connections since she made her racing debut at the end of 2011.
W.J. Healy Stakes winner Big Money ($2.50) is currently a clear favourite in 2014 Ramornie Handicap betting markets from Ortensia Stakes winner Testarhythm ($5), Gordon Yorke-trained Hidden Warrior ($7.50) injury-plagued sprinter Territory ($7.50), while Villamill is available at the lengthy 2014 Ramornie Handicap odds of $41.