Vilana secures Stradbroke berth with Moreton Cup success

Racing Online - Horse Racing News - Australian Horse Racing News - Vilana secures Stradbroke berth with Moreton Cup success
Vilana - Moreton Cup

capped off an outstanding day in the Group 2 , piloting (+240) to victory to claim his fifth win of the day at on Saturday afternoon.

Combining with , McDonald's mount was heavily backed before the final race of the day and the five-year-old gelding didn't let those punters down as he strode clear to win with ease in the 1200m contest.

As expected, Zarastro (+1300) jumped well and went to the front to take the lead ahead of At Witz End (+5000), with Mazu (+550) settling behind the leading duo, tasked with bringing the rest of the field up to the leaders before the home turn.

However, by the time the leader had straightened for the run to the judge, McDonald was biding his time on the outside of runners and pushed the button on Vilana, who exploded with a blistering turn of foot.

Under the urgings of a red-hot McDonald, the son of stormed up to the leader and kicked clear to put a massive space on his rivals with 200m to go.

Mazu, Jigsaw (+1800) and All That Pizzazz (+1100) finished off nicely and battled it out for the placings, with the trio finishing in that order, but it was all honours to Vilana as he claimed victory by 3.7 lengths and booked a spot in the Handicap.

James Cummings was on course to speak about Vilana's win post-race.

“The Stradbroke has always been a desirable goal for Vilana, he was beautifully placed in the set weights and penalties today and we felt he had a lot of hidden merit to his run in the BRC Sprint,” Cummings said.

“It's exciting to see him loom up and win a race like this so easily.

“I was trying to keep a lid on him in the last 200 metres, because he needs have a bit of gas left in the tank for the Stradbroke.

“We liked the horse in the race two years ago as a three-year-old, and now that he's been gelded this preparation he's been flying.

“A couple of things haven't quite gone his way, but third-up he was bang on and is now on track for the Stradbroke in seven days.

“We know what we're doing with him, he's going so well that we just stick to the routine.

“Provided he pulls up well, we'll have him in good shape for the race.

“He's a dynamic late bloomer into the race given the form he carries into it, he's going to be a real X-factor.”

James McDonald spoke about the two horses that he qualified for the Stradbroke post-race, on what was a massive day for Australia's leading .

“I've qualified two horses for the Straddie today, and can't get on either of them,” McDonald said.

“Both are really good horses for that sort of race, they're down in the weights and if it's a fast run race I'm sure they'll produce the goods.

“He exploded and gave me a beautiful feel.

“The race panned out perfectly and he's been promising that sort of performance. He's a beauty to ride.”

“It was a very good performance and it's difficult to split them, but at 51 kilos has got to be a really good chance.

“He gave me an excellent feel so there's not much between them, I'll sit on the fence.”

Vilana is now a +1400 chance in the Stradbroke Handicap futures markets with online bookmakers.

Horse racing news

Leave A Comment