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Villa Verde still a hope in Golden Slipper

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Trainer Shaun Dwyer hasn’t lost hope with his filly Villa Verde going into Saturday’s Group 1 $3.5m Tooheys New Golden Slipper (1200m) at Rosehill after coming up with a horror barrier.

villa verde

Villa Verde is facing a tough task in the Golden Slipper after drawing a horror gate. Photo by Race Horse Photos Australia.

Villa Verde will start one from the outside after drawing seventeen in the original draw and will jump from fifteen after the two emergencies are scratched, with New Zealand filly Ruud Awakening the only other runner drawing wider.

Dwyer couldn’t be happier with Villa Verde after working brilliantly on Saturday and the Not A Single Doubt filly will strip a much fitter racehorse than the one that was beaten over four lengths by Golden Slipper favourite Overreach in the Group 2 $300,000 Moet & Chandon Stakes (1200m) at Rosehill on March 23.

“I knew she was underdone going into that race. She worked brilliantly on Saturday morning and followed up very well this morning,” Dwyer said after Tuesday morning trackwork.

Dwyer added that the wide gate wasn’t his main worry but the fact that Overreach had drawn perfectly at one was the main hurdle after the Gai Waterhouse filly.has shown that she can take advantage of a good draw with great gate speed.

“I’m not overly concerned  and Overreach drawing one is probably more of a concern than us drawing seventeen,” Dwyer said.

“More importantly I’m happy with the filly. I couldn’t be happier.”

Michael Rodd takes over from Hugh Bowman on Villa Verde after missing the Moet & Chandon Stakes ride because of a suspension and hasn’t conceded defeat despite facing a huge task from the shocking draw.

“It’s not the end of the world. I would like to have drawn in but the Golden Slipper is a high pressure race,” Rodd said.

“She is very good from the barriers so I’ll take my time coming across and will hopefully end up three deep with cover.”

Rodd said that Overreach won’t have as easy a run in front at she did two weeks ago as the Golden Slipper is always a high pressure race up front and he will be able to take a sit and miss the early buffering that is common place in the run to the first turn.

“The pressure will be on with the favourite drawing barrier one,” Rodd said.

“She’ll have to kick up which will allow us to hit the line late.”

“The favourite has got the wood on us but that has been in small fields where it has been able to canter in front and sprint away and she won’t be having a picnic up on the speed.”

Overreach is at the very short quote of $2.15 with Villa Verde sitting on the $12 mark.

The David Payne trained Criterion and Peter Snowden’s Sidestep are the only other runners in between the two fillies at $11 with Ruud Awakening at $13 and Overreach’s stablemates Whittington and Sweet Idea on the next line of betting at $15.

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.

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