Villars Gets Overdue Reward

The ever-consistent Pencarrow Racing galloper Villars (NZ) (Stratum x Vercors, by Catbird) broke through for an overdue win in the $12,500 Advance Boiler Services Maiden 1600m at Te Rapa on Saturday.

Trained in Matamata by Graham Richardson, the four-year-old mare had six previous starts in her career, finishing second at her previous three starts along with two thirds and a fourth.

She was particularly unlucky at her previous start when hampered in the straight at Counties with her line dictated to when finishing runner-up.

Starting as warm race favourite, Villars was positioned perfectly by Opie Bosson in front of mid-field and one off the rail. Entering the straight the pair improved to be in a position to pounce to the lead. The Stratum filly was able to run clear of the field to draw out to a deserved two length victory on the line.

“She finally got what she deserved,” said a relieved Richardson. “She has been so unlucky. She is a mare that has always shown me a lot and I think she will go through the grades very quickly.

“She is going to have ten days off, and is already at Pencarrow Stud. She will be aimed at the Karaka Million Twilight Meeting (26 Jan) either over 1400m or 1600m.”

The first victory in Villars’ career took her prize earnings to $16,960, an impressive total for a horse with only one win thanks to her consistent record for owner Peter Vela, who bred the horse with Philip Vela.

Villars is the first foal of Listed Wairarapa Thoroughbred Breeders’ Stakes winner Vercors (Catbird), a half-sister to Group 1 winning two-year-old Lord Ted (Lord Ballina).

Vercors has a yearling colt by Australian sire Bel Espirit, sire of Black Caviar, catalogued at Lot 330 in the Karaka Premier Sale next month, and has a filly by champion miler Rip Van Winkle currently at foot.