-->

Overnight rain has boosted the chances of the Kris Lees trained Articus when he lines up in the Group 2 $250,000 Fugen Construction Villiers Stakes (1600m) at Randwick on Saturday.

Articus, above, will appreciate the soft track conditions for the 2018 Villiers Stakes at Randwick. Photo by Ultimate Racing Photos.

Articus, above, will appreciate the soft track conditions for the 2018 Villiers Stakes at Randwick. Photo by Ultimate Racing Photos.

The Randwick track has been rated a Soft 6 on Friday morning after receiving 22mm during the previous twenty-four hours and stable spokesman Lucas Miller said the rain affected surface would suit Articus.

“He is a real knockout chance after the rain,” Miller told Racing New South Wales News Desk.

Miller said the stable was happy with Articus’ two runs from a spell and the fact that the German import only has to carry the 53kg minimum would also be a great advantage.

“He spelled really well, put on condition and has turned his form around with two excellent performances this time. He has an inside draw, only 53kg with Andrew Gibbons to ride,” Miller said.

Articus resumed from a spell for a first up second with 59kg in a 1400m BenchMark 88 Handicap Randwick followed by a third to Villiers Stakes rivals Interlocuter and Fabrizio in the $150,000 Goulburn Cup (1600m) at Goulburn on November 25.

Andrew Gibbons was aboard Articus in the Goulburn Cup and will give the seven year old every chance from barrier two in the fourteen horse Villiers Stakes field.

Articus is at the juicy double figure odds of $21 at Ladbrokes.com.au for the Villiers Stakes while the Anthony and Edward trained Sky Boy heads the betting at $3.00 well ahead of the second pick Gaulois at $7.50.

Sky Boy, with Christian Reith in the saddle, is also on the 53kg minimum as he steps up to open class for the first time after winning his last four starts in restricted ranks.

Gaulois is one of three James Cummings trained runners in the Villiers Stakes and is also stepping out of restricted grade coming off a last start second in a 1500m BenchMark 88 Handicap at Rosehill on December 1.

Cummings will also saddle up $11 chance Interlocuter aand $26 outsider Duca Valentinois.

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.