Villermont to target Sandown Guineas

Tom Baddock - Wednesday October 18

Brilliant maiden winner Villermont will step out as a short-priced favourite in the Alannah Hill Benchmark 70 Plate (1600m) at Caulfield on Wednesday en route to the Sandown Guineas.

Villermont returns to scale at Benalla after a 5-1/4 length win.

The son of All Too Hard out of Group I winning mare Bollinger put in a strong closing performance on debut at Sandown Hillside over 1400m behind Wassergeist before annihilating a maiden field at Benalla by 5-1/4 lengths over 1600m.

"He was terrific first-up at Sandown and then he went to Benalla and he was a class above," trainer Aaron Purcell said.

"He obviously has to take another step up tomorrow but the way he gets around at home and the presence of the horse would indicate there's better races in store for him.

"Looking at the horse he's very much a stamp of his old man, All Too Hard.

"He's a great big beautiful strong horse and he gallops with the good horses here so we expect him to end up racing with the good horses.

"He's bred to be good and so far he has looked the goods. He's come through last start really well. He looks a million dollars.

"He's really well-prepared for Wednesday."

On the back of his dominant victory Villermont's price tumbled in from as much as $60 into a high of $15 in the Group I Victoria Derby, although the stable has decided on a different route.

"He's probably going to stay at a mile this preparation," Purcell said.

"If he goes well tomorrow he'll probably go to the Carbine Club on Derby Day and then possibly the Sandown Guineas.

"After this preparation we'll reassess what his best distance is.

"There was a discussion that he'd go towards the Victoria Derby but we felt a mile at this stage of his life it would suit him better."

Although the stable believes Villermont will prove extremely difficult to beat on Wednesday they are wary of the wide barrier draw.

"He's probably drawn a bit awkwardly in nine so he's probably going to need a few things to go right for him but I'm sure if things do go right he's going to be really hard to beat tomorrow."

Stablemate Black Sail also lines up in the race and Purcell believes he's also capable of running a good race after being only narrowly beaten last start at Flemington behind Octabello.

"He's another really nice horse," Purcell said.

"Up to the mile is really going to suit him.

"He ran really well at Flemington the other day. There's no reason why he couldn't run well again.

"If he runs well we'll push on towards a race like the Carbine Club also."

Villermont is currently $2.30 with Bet365 to make it two wins on the trot while Black Sail is quoted at $17.

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