Dwyer sets sights on Golden Slipper with filly

BENDIGO trainer Shaun Dwyer will target next year’s Golden Slipper Stakes (1200m) with Villa Verde after the filly scored a stunning debut win at Caulfield yesterday.

Villa Verde claimed the $120,000 Listed Debutants Stakes (1000m) to earn comparisons with Dwyer’s former champion sprinter Regimental Gal, which won the Lightning Stakes and Australia Stakes in 2004.

“She (Villa Verde) has always showed me plenty in training, so it was a big relief to see her run so well today,’’ Dwyer said.

“She’s very smart. I’m very happy to have another good horse.

“She’s probably got the most ability since Regimental Gal.”

Villa Verde ($15) jumped well and settled third on the fence behind the Peter Snowden-trained Kuroshio ($3.10 fav) and Gai Waterhouse-trained Overreach ($3.50).

Villa Verde was a bit green in the straight, but she finished off the race strongly to defeat Overreach by 1¼ lengths.

Her time was more than half a second quicker than the three-year-old race.

Dwyer said Villa Verde would run in a two-year-old fillies race at Flemington on Melbourne Cup day before going for a break.

“We’ll give her a 10-week break and then work back from the Golden Slipper with her,’’ Dwyer said.

“She won’t run in the Blue Diamond. The reality is not many win both the Blue Diamond and the Slipper. 

“Only the freaks can do it. Samaready couldn’t do it this year.”

“We’ll throw all our aces into the Golden Slipper.”

Dwyer purchased Villa Verde, a daughter of Not A Single Doubt, for $95,000 at the Melbourne Premier Sale.

“I thought she’d sell for about $65,000, but the owner is determined and he was happy to go to $95,000,’’ Dwyer said.

“She’s not two to November 8. She’s very athletic and is well muscled.

“She’s just a nice filly.”

Winning jockey Michael Rodd was impressed with Villa Verde.

“Shaun told me two months ago about her and he said that he hoped I didn’t have a two-year-old filly (to ride),” Rodd said. 

“She pinged out of the barriers and just followed the pace and came around the leaders heels there at the top of the straight and accelerated really well.”

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