Winter Carnival Hopefuls Embark

May 05, 2015

Fontelina and Villa Verde left for Queensland this morning as they prepare for a tilt at the BTC Cup this Saturday at Doomben.

It will be an exciting day for Mike Buys and Rob Willis as they own Villa Verde outright and share in the ownership of Fontelina with Gerry Harvey. After a strong performance in The Galaxy (Rosehill, 1100m G1) where she was beaten by the firmness of the track after hitting the front at the 150m mark, Villa Verde was lacklustre in the Sapphire Stakes (Randwick, 1200m G2) when encountering a very soft track. Thankfully, the weather forecast in Brisbane is predicted to be quite sunny, which will help the track cope with frosty winter mornings. The stable is hopeful of a Good racing surface with penty of cushion for Villa.

Fontelina was very impressive second up in the TJ Smith Stakes (Randwick, 1200m G1) when running fourth behind Chataqua. He was beaten less than 3.5 lengths on a very soft track, which is not his best surface. He then went on to compete in the All Aged Stakes over 1400m (Randwick, G1) and was never favoured by the slow tempo when taking a position back in the field. The fact he was beaten by less than 2.5 lengths in running 7th further confirms the good order he is in at present. On a good track with some give in it, Fontelina will be a great chance for the stable.

Looking back on the Autumn carnival, the stable was pleased with the efforts of Fontelina (as mentioned) as well as Rhode Assassin who was able to finish fourth in the Champagne Stakes and provide a great thrill for his owners. By Lookin' At Lucky, he represented a small number of offerings by the American Stallion who stood at Coolmore last season. Indeed, Anthony was impressed with other first crop offerings of fellow US Stallion Uncle Mo and bought a handful of very nice types from the Magic Millions and Inglis Classic sales for competitive prices. We encourage all our readers to click on our 'Horses Available' page and see for themselves what kind of horses Anthony likes to buy, with most profiles including Anthony's thoughts on his selection process for each. For any person interested in buying or seeing these horses, please contact us using the information available on the website.