Sport

Dwyer claims filly Villa Verde's talent can't be beat

Trainer Shaun Dwyer (2nd L) with Villa Verde (C) celebrate after winning the 7News Plate during 2012 Melbourne Cup Day at Flemington Racecourse on November 6, 2012 in Melbourne, Australia.
Trainer Shaun Dwyer (2nd L) with Villa Verde (C) celebrate after winning the 7News Plate during 2012 Melbourne Cup Day at Flemington Racecourse on November 6, 2012 in Melbourne, Australia. Vince Caligiuri / Getty Images

UNHERALDED Victorian trainer Shaun Dwyer knows a good horse when he sees one.

And he doesn't have a single doubt that unbeaten two-year-old Villa Verde is potentially the best he has put a saddle on.

Based at Bendigo, Dwyer trained three-year-old filly Regimental Gal to win the Group 1 Lightning Stakes-Australia Stakes double in 2004 on her way to seven wins from 17 starts and $1.6 million in career prize money.

Villa Verde, a grey two-year-old filly by Not A Single Doubt, debuted with a win in the Listed Debutants Stakes (1000m) at Caulfield in October, before really underlining her class by taking out the Listed 7 News Plate (1000m) at Flemington on Melbourne Cup Day in a sizzling 56.7 seconds.

"I've been reluctant to say this publicly, but I think this (Villa Verde) is a better filly than Reggie (Regimental Gal)," Dwyer said.

"I'm trying not to dissect her as a racehorse, but to run 31.5 from the 800 to the 200 down the straight as easily as she did makes me think she's pretty special.

"That's what Regimental Gal could do, but she was hammering along, whereas this filly has a lot more composure and a better racing style."

Dwyer has already mapped out a short but select autumn program for Villa Verde, taking in the Group 2 Reisling Stakes (1200m) at Rosehill on March 23, and the Golden Slipper two weeks later.

If she runs as well as expected there, she will be spelled again and aimed at a couple of top-line sprint races during the Melbourne Spring carnival, and perhaps even the Black Caviar Lightning and Newmarket Handicap at Flemington in the autumn of 2014.

Taking a line through champion mare Black Caviar, Dwyer said he wanted to ensure Villa Verde wasn't overraced.

"We've got a very good filly - who knows how good she is? She might be only as good as she's shown, but if she can go on then there's no point in going for every carrot that's dangled in front of us," he said.

Topics:  flemington, horse racing, horses, horse trainer, melbourne cup



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