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Saturday  December 14 2018 Villiers Stakes Group 2 1600m First run in 1892 and won by Two Up, this is a time honoured race on the Racing Calendar run at Christmas time every year. After 10 years of being run over 6 furongs (1200m), the race extended to amile (1600m) in 1902 and has been run over this journey ever since. The race has been a Group 2 since 1986, and it attracts those horses just below top classs. In saying that, one most notable winner was Bernborough in 1945. Other Group 1 winners to be victorious include Happy Clapper, Blue Era, Rising Prince, Referral and Soho Square. Crack Me Up won the evnt in 2017. Hot speed in this race with both Red Excitement and Fabrizio only knowing one way to race, so watch for run on horses to fight out the finish. We doubt those twos credentials to lead and win off a fast tempo. As usual in a race over the 1600m at Royal Randwick, several serious winning chances. Interlocuter sat closer than usual to win the Goulburn Cup last start, stalking Fabrizio and fighting on strongly in the straight. This is his type of race, a 1600m with heavy tempo run like a 2000m event. He drops 0.5kg on that win and has a great draw to get a cushy run in tranist. My Nordic Hero looked like a Group 1 horse winning  the Festival Stakes at Roehill last start at his second run this time in. He came from well back but had the leaders covered at the 100m mark and won eased up. The barrier no assistance here however he gets back off a fast speed, he will be motoring the final 200m under Bowman’s urgings. Articus came from mid field to run third in the Goulburn Cup, however he appeared to have every chance to run down Interlocuter. He gets a nice 3kg weight drop and a perfect alley, fitter for two runs this time in, gets a plenty of ticks and a definite winning chance. Duca Valentinois and Grande Rosso have been thereabouts in strong company of late, however both are having difficulty notching up a win. If everything goes to suit, then they have place chances however we could not contemplate them as serious winning hopes. Ditto Aloisia who on her best would beat most of these out of sight, however does not appear to have recaptured her 3yo form. Doubt Defying won the Sale Cup in scintillating fashion two runs back coming from well back to swamp his rivals and can be forgiven last start failure at Group 1 level over 2000m. He has trialled in the interim, Walker comes up for the ride, if he repeats his Sale run, then he too is a serious contender. Both the other two on the 53kg limit should be included in multiples. Sky Boy is in career best form, should race handily in behind the speed and be produced at the right time, whether he has the class to beat some of these is the query. While Gaulois failed narrowly last week at Rosehill, drops 6kg in weight, the extra distance suits and he has a decent enough draw, definite trifecta player. Goodfellow is probably the best of the rest, he made it hard to My Nordic Hero last start and is very consistent, the draw may be his concern however he is a multiples player. The Waller stable mates Sambro has claims while Satono Rasen would need to improve lengths to threaten on his recent performances. The winner should come from Interlocuter, My Nordic Hero, Doubt Defying and Articus, throw Gaulois in as a light weight chance. We have always had a big opinion of Interlocuter, this might be his race however we are scared witless of My Nordic Hero. 1 #7 Interlocuter 2 #5 My Nordic Hero 3 #9 Doubt Defying 4 #12 Articus
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