Villami scored an impressive debut win at Rosehill Gardens last month. Picture: AAP
Villami scored an impressive debut win at Rosehill Gardens last month. Picture: AAP

Winx lookalike makes late dash for Slipper

SATURDAY'S Rosehill meeting is the last chance for a host of two-year-olds to gain a prized spot in this year's Golden Slipper and Gerald Ryan has a miniature version of Winx headed to the races.

Villami will contest the Group 3 Magic Night Stakes (1200m) after winning impressively on debut at Rosehill in a mid-weeker last month.

Ryan's opinion of Villami before the race was so high he said she was the best filly he'd had since Melito and Snitzerland. And she didn't let him down, winning comfortably by 1½ lengths at her first start.

"She was a spitting image of Winx as a yearling," Ryan said shortly after the win.

 

Villami, by Foxwedge out of former top mare Galapagos Girl, cost $425,000 at the 2018 Magic Millions Yearling Sale.

Ryan gave her a final hitout on Tuesday and she's done everything he could have asked.

"She's done well since her win," Ryan said. "She came out of that race in really great shape. She worked nicely on Tuesday morning ans she's a very quiet filly who eats her feed.

"It's a lot tougher race on Saturday but we'll see where she sits.

"She's a nice, athletic filly. She reminds me of Winx."

Trainer Gerald Ryan couldn’t be happier with Villami heading into the Magic Night Stakes. Picture: AAP
Trainer Gerald Ryan couldn’t be happier with Villami heading into the Magic Night Stakes. Picture: AAP

Ryan's initial plan was to run her in the Magic Night Stakes then head towards the Percy Sykes Stakes at Randwick next month. But if she wins on Saturday that will probably change.

"I'm not 100 per cent certain she'd miss it (Slipper)," he said. "If she wins she's in it and the race is on her home track. There's form lines coming from everywhere for this race, including the Blue Diamond."

Ryan said after winning on debut that she didn't go to the Magic Millions in January because she was "too good" for the rich race in Queensland.

"That was probably a bit misinterpreted," he said. "If you have a crack at the Magic Millions, that's all you have and you miss the autumn.

"There's a few stakes races for her in the autumn. There's more for them in the autumn rather than having one crack at a race in the summer."

Ryan also said his star sprinter Trapeze Artist would have another trial before the Group 1 T.J. Smith Stakes after his great win in last Saturday's Group 1 Canterbury Stakes.

"He's bucking his brains off. He copped that run well and was very dominant," Ryan said.

The other Slipper qualifier on Saturday is the Group 3 Pago Pago Stakes (1200m) for the colts and geldings.

Team Snowden and Godolphin will be represented while Melbourne trainers Trent Busuttin and Natalie Young will decide on Wednesday if they send Treaty Of Seville.

He won very well on debut, albeit in a lesser grade of race at Cranbourne last Friday night, but there's only one chance to run in the Golden Slipper.

"It's a bit of a rush but Aquis Farm (owners) are all about colts," Busuttin said.

"They're happy to throw him in at the deep end then come back a peg later. The Sydney colts are obviously a different kettle of fish compared to a Cranbourne night meeting but we'll see if he can make that step up in grade. He's a big tough bugger and nothing worries him.

"I'll gallop him the reverse way of going on Wednesday morning before acceptances and his gallop will tell the story."

News Corp Australia


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