Quackerjack opens as Villiers Stakes favourite

The $250,000, Group 2 Quincy Seltzer Villiers Stakes (1600m) at Randwick on Saturday has a field of 14 after acceptances on Wednesday with the Mark Newnham trained Quackerjack the TAB opening favourite at $4.20 despite drawing barrier 11.

Rachel King rides the four-year-old Not A Single Doubt gelding as she has for the last two starts, the win in the Goulburn Cup over 1400m on November 3rd and second in The Gong over 1600m with 52kg at Kembla Grange on November 23rd. On Saturday Quarkerjack carries 56kg.

Ranier and El Dorado Dreaming share $7.00 on the next line of the market. Ranier has 55.5kg under Kerrin McEvoy with barrier nine and El Dorado Dreaming 57kg under Brenton Avdulla with barrier four.

Godolphin’s four-year-old Lonhro gelding Ranier returned to winning form in the Group 3 Festival Stake over 1500m at Rosehill on November 30th.

Kathy O’Hara struck traffic problems obtaining clear running for Ranier, carrying 53kg, and while that was happening John O’Shea’s Live And Free (NZ), carrying 53.5kg, with Brenton Avdulla were making a rails run that nearly secured the win. Once O’Hara had Ranier out in the middle of the track he lengthened quickly and just made the line for a nose win.

Live And Free, with 55kg and Glen Boss, also has a wide draw at 13 and shares $9.00 with Noble Boy, 55kg with Tommy Berry and wider out at 15.

Mornington’s Logan McGill has accepted with his in-form Gold Fields with the seven-year-old Churchill Downs gelding coming off two black type wins in succession.

On October 27th Gold Fields won the listed Sale Cup over 1600m with 54kg under Stephen Baster and followed that up with the Group 3 Sandown Stakes over 1500m with 55.5kg under Baster on November 16th and giving the retiring jockey a win in his final race ride. Gold Fields is at $11.00 with 58.5kg under Nash Rawiller and barrier four.

The Villiers Stakes is Race 7 at 4.40pm.

Race 6 at 4.00pm is the $140,000, listed Fugen Construction Razor Sharp Handicap (1200m) with a field of 12.

The other black type race on the nine race card is the $140,000, listed Christmas Cup (2400m), Race 3 at 2.10pm, with a field of nine.

The Chris Waller trained Alward (IRE) is the top-weight with 58kg under Hugh Bowman after his two wins in succession, the last in the listed ATC Cup over 2000m at Rosehill on November 30th. A win for Alward would take the seven-year-old Aqlaam gelding’s stake earnings to close to $700,000. Alward is the $2.30 TAB market opening favourite.

The programme commences at 1.00pm with a field of 10 fillies and mare in the $125,000, UNSW Bm 88 Handicap (1200m)

The track is rated a Good 4 on Wednesday after 6mm of irrigation in the last 24 hours and 23mm of irrigation in the last seven days and the rail will be in the True position for the entire circuit.

Sydney’s weather into the weekend has smoke haze returning from Thursday through to Saturday with cloudy conditions and 23c and 24c on Thursday and Friday. Saturday’s forecast is for a partly cloudy day with 18c – 27c.

Randwick fields

Randwick's Course Proper a Good 4 on Wednesday, picture ThoroughbredNEWS