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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, above, is returning to Randwick to run in the 2018 Villiers Stakes. Photo by Steve Hart.

Doubt Defying, above, is returning to Randwick to run in the 2018 Villiers Stakes. Photo by Steve Hart.

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

About The Author

Mark Mazzaglia

Mark is a passionate journalist with a life-time involvement in the racing industry. He spent many years as an analyst and form expert at the Courier Mail and also has hands-on experience working with some of Queensland’s top trainers.