It was a no panic steer from jockey Nash Rawiller aboard this improving four-year-old colt, after being cast wide throughout the 1200m. Rawiller was willing to take his medicine and cart into the race never pivoting from the tactics, proving the winning option in the end as Vilana bolted clear despite the horrid run in transit.
The son of Hallowed Crown revelled in the Heavy conditions on Saturday at Randwick and has now continued his consistency in both first-up performances and on his adaptability on wet decks, adding another Group quality success to his resume.
Waihaha Falls and Key Largo both made up late inroads chasing as Coal Crusher gave way with 150m to go, but it was all about the winner moving forward, as Vilana will now look to the Queensland Carnival in the winter.
2023 Group 3 Hall Mark Stakes Replay – Vilana
“We love this horse, there's really something about him, said Cummings.
“He's got a lot of potential to go up to Brisbane and be a really serious campaigner up there for their winter carnival.
“A great effort to kick off his campaign and get it underway with a win and the Hall Mark Stakes has been a happy hunting ground for our stable. An excellent way to find a fresh horse on the scene for Queensland later on.
“The horse's rating is already pretty high so it's going to be hard for him in a Stradbroke, but we're happy to target the race.
“The Kingsford Smith Cup looks right in his hitting zone, we might even give him a run in the Doomben 10,000 in between.”
Nash Rawiller joked post-race about the ride on Vilana and then expressed his opinion of him moving into the Winter.
“That was plan B,” joked Rawiller.
“I love this horse, I think he's got bigger things ahead of him. Certainly you don't want a tough run like that first-up but full credit to him.
“Off a couple of trials he was a bit fitter than probably I rode him last time first-up so I think he'll bounce through that run well. There'll be a good race for him in Queensland.
“He's a beautiful horse. He didn't have the ideal kick off today the way the race panned out for him. But he oozes class and he dropped the bridle for me where we were.
“By the time we got to the 600m there was no real worries because he relaxed and just got into that right rhythm that he was going to run the trip.”