All Too Hard's Villermont Storms to Victory in Sandown Guineas

Mark Smith - Saturday November 18

While Zipping Classic winner The Taj Mahal represented the crème of European breeding, the Group II Ladbrokes Sandown Guineas (1600m) hero Villermont kept the colonial flag flying when storming home from last on the turn to register his first stakes win.

Making just his fourth trip to the races, Villermont was given plenty of time to find his feet by Luke Nolen. Eased out to make his challenge in the straight, the son of All Too Hard picked off runner after runner as Black Hail was being called the likely winner.

Katsumi Yoshida's Peaceful State, an Animal Kingdom half-brother to Horse Of The Year Weekend Hussler, made his run with Villermont and both collared the game Black Sail (Savabeel) in the last 50 metres.


The Aaron Purcell-trained Villermont would not be denied, edging Peaceful State by a head with Black Sail a neck back in third. (photo Darryl Sherer)

With the suspension of Ciaron Maher in October, Purcell took over the running of the stable.

"He's a very well bred horse, a lovely looking animal who works like a machine at home.

We came here expecting him to run well. We knew he would get back, that was the plan. We were hoping he would settle enough and get the run at the right time because we were sure he would be strong late.

"He's definitely going to be a better horse in the autumn. We deliberately gave him a light spring. We will give him a break now and aim him at the stronger three-year-old races in the autumn.

"Vinery stand the stallion (All Too Hard) they want to see good results and trusted us to do a good job with the horse and today he delivered."

Purchased by Ciaron Maher for $250,000 at the 2016 Easter Yearling Sale, Villermont races for a large syndicate headed by Vinery Stud.

He is the seventh and final foal of the Group I Coolmore Classic heroine Bollinger who died in October last year.

The daughter of Dehere (USA) spent the majority of her broodmare career in America where her best was the Grade II Louisiana Derby winner Friesan Fire (AP Indy) who was sent off one of the favourites in the 2009 Kentucky.

The winner of five of her eight starts, Bollinger was a half-sister to Group III winners Mannington and Sheraton out of Marscay's 1993 Golden Slipper winner Bint Marscay.

Mannington is the dam of Group I Victoria Derby winner Benicio and Group II winner Romneya.

Villermont becomes the third stakes winner for All Too Hard whose old foe Pierro enjoyed a wonderful time of it over the Flemington Carnival.

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