Eagle Farm trainer Steve O’Dea has plenty of faith in Doubt Defying who will be heading back to Randwick to run in the 2018 Group 2 $250,000 Fugen Construction Villiers Stakes (1600m) on Saturday.
Doubt Defying was a winner at Randwick three starts back in the 1400m Cellarbrations Handicap on October 6 and has drawn nicely at barrier three in the fifteen horse Villiers Stakes field and the Aquis Farm owned five year old will be ridden by retained jockey Michael Walker.
Walker rode Doubt Defying to victory in the Listed $200,000 Ladbrokes Sale Cup (1600m) at Sale on October 28 and was also aboard when the gelding finished sixth to Trap For Fools in the Group 1 $2m Seppelt Mackinnon Stakes (2000m) at Flemington on November 10.
“He had a good trip to Melbourne and it was a great win in the Sale Cup,” O’Dea told AAP.
“He then found himself in the Mackinnon which is not where we thought he would end up but he certainly wasn’t out of his depth there.
Doubt Defying has had a barrier trial at Doomben after returning from Melbourne for a fifth over 1000m on December 4 and O’Dea has been happy with his work since.
“He had a strong gallop at Doomben this morning (Tuesday),” O’Dea said.
“It was solid work so I am not worried about the five-week gap between runs as he likes his races spaced anyway.
“He has had a trial so he is fit enough.”
Gai Waterhouse and Adrian Bott will saddle up the top weight Fabrizio who has drawn barrier eleven with Josh Parr to ride while Chris Waller will have three runners, My Nordic Hero, Satono Rasen and Sambro.
Hugh Bowman takes the ride on My Nordic Hero from barrier ten, Jay Ford has the mount on Sambro who will jump from gate seven and Jason Collett is aboard Satono Rasen who drew the rails.
The Anthony and Edward Cummings trained Sky Boy is chasing his fifth win on the trot as he steps up to open company for the first time in the Villiers Stakes but won’t get it all his own way after drawing barrier nine with Christian Reith in the saddle again.
Final field for the 2018 Villiers Stakes (1600m)
|No||Last 10||Horse||Trainer||Jockey||Barrier||Weight||Hcp Rating|
|1||19x957x432||FABRIZIO||Gai Waterhouse & Adrian Bott||Joshua Parr||11||59kg||104|
|2||240×920143||RED EXCITEMENT||Gerald Ryan||Tommy Berry||14||58.5kg||103|
|3||21×0407376||DUCA VALENTINOIS (IRE)||James Cummings||Glyn Schofield||5||57.5kg||101|
|4||x761x76457||GRANDE ROSSO||Peter & Paul Snowden||Kerrin McEvoy||8||57.5kg||101|
|5||4221572×21||MY NORDIC HERO (GB)||Chris Waller||Hugh Bowman||10||57.5kg||101|
|6||03768×8300||ALOISIA (NZ)||Ciaron Maher & David Eustace||Tim Clark||12||56.5kg||103|
|7||68457×4041||INTERLOCUTER (USA)||James Cummings||James McDonald||4||56.5kg||99|
|8||8x947x009x||SATONO RASEN (JPN)||Chris Waller||Jason Collett||1||56kg||98|
|9||591115×116||DOUBT DEFYING||Steven O’Dea||Michael Walker||3||55.5kg||97|
|10||6x2811x372||SAMBRO||Chris Waller||Jay Ford||7||55kg||96|
|11||x003132032||GOODFELLA||Bjorn Baker||Adam Hyeronimus||13||53.5kg||93|
|12||525x080x23||ARTICUS (FR)||Kris Lees||Andrew Gibbons||2||53kg||91|
|13||413×331111||SKY BOY||Anthony & Edward Cummings||Christian Reith||9||53kg||91|
|14||x531331x32||GAULOIS||James Cummings||Corey Brown||6||53kg||87|
|15||34x31x2832||FIERCE IMPACT (JPN)||Matthew Smith||Andrew Adkins||15||53kg||80|