Jockey Michael Rodd is convinced that his Golden Slipper ride Villa Verde will strip a much fitter filly at Rosehill on Saturday but he will have to wait and see if she has improved enough to turn the tables on favourite Overreach.
Villa Verde was having her first run in Sydney when beaten four and a quarter lengths by the Gai Waterhouse trained Overreach in the Group 2 $300,000 Moet & Chandon Stakes (1200m) at Rosehill on March 23 when ridden by Hugh Bowman.
Rodd will be back on the Shaun Dwyer trained Villa Verde after missing the Rosehill ride due to suspension, but was impressed with the filly’s work out at Randwick this morning.
“She worked like she normally does, she is pretty impressive in her track work,” Rodd said.
“It had been a few weeks since I have seen her in the flesh, she has trimmed up a lot, which is what I wanted to see from her.”
“Anything can happen in a Golden Slipper, I know my filly has improved and she is going to appreciate the big field and a solid tempo.”
Villa Verde was among the sixteen in the final field for the Group 1 $3.5m Tooheys New Golden Slipper (1200m) at Rosehill with the Peter Moody trained Il Cavallo lamenting at second emergency after the stable paid the $150,000 late entry fee to secure a run for the undefeated colt.
With the Clarry Connors filly Assail not qualifying, Craig Williams has taken the ride on the New Zealander Ruud Awakening after winning on the Stephen March trained filly in the Listed NZ$550,000 Karaka Million (1200m) at Ellerslie in January.
“I was always confident Craig would ride her,” Marsh said.
“He just had to fulfil his other engagements. It’s great to have him back aboard.”
Waterhouse will saddle up three runners in the Golden Slipper and as well as having the $2.20 favourite Overreach with Tommy Berry, will also be represented with Sweet Idea to be ridden by Jim Cassidy and Whittington with Nash Rawiller aboard.
While Peter Snowden will also have three runners for Darley, Kuroshio with Josh Parr, last Saturday’s Pago Pago Stakes winner Sidestep with Kerrin McEvoy and Guelph with Christian Reith to ride.
Overreach remains the $2.20 favourite after two impressive wins this Autumn while Sweet Idea is on the fifth line of betting at $13 with Waterhouse’s third Golden Slipper hope Whittington at $15 with Peter Moody’s late entry Il Cavallo.