Queenslanders Can Snatch Villiers

Image courtesy of: www.foxsports.com.au
Queenslander Sir Moments is ready for Saturday's Villiers. Image courtesy of www.foxsports.com.au

Hoping to break a 23-year drought, Queensland appears to have two live chances in the Group 2 Villiers Stakes (1600m) at Randwick on Saturday.

After an encouraging fifth at his first Sydney run in the Festival Stakes a fortnight ago, Sir Moments looks hard to beat. The Steve O'Dea trained four-year-old came from well back to finish fifth, 1.7 lengths behind I'm Imposing . That was over 1500m and the extra distance looks ideal for the son of Choisir. He's also down 1kg, but needs a masterly ride from jockey Tim Bell to negotiate barrier 14. However, the wide gate might not be such a disadvantage with the track likely to be rain-affected. That won't bother this promising performer as he's unbeaten in three runs on soft and heavy surfaces. Sir Moments has won six of his 13 starts, with two placings. He has already netted connections $538,000.

Queensland's other hope is Rudy , which stormed home to win the Listed Recognition Stakes at Doomben last start. From the Helen Page barn on the Gold Coast, Rudy is on the minimum (53kg), but meets Sir Moments 3.5kg worse at the weights after finishing ahead of him in a race won by Hopfgarten in early November. Both horses won their subsequent starts. Even though this is a non-claiming race, apprentice Luke Tarrant has retained the ride on Rudy.

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Chris Bombolas - Tatts Senior Writer

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