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Three strong chances line up in G2 Villiers at Randwick

Mike Hedge

A gear change for Duca Valentinois, the recent return to form of Interlocuter and the consistency of Gaulois adds up to a strong Godolphin hand in Saturday’s G2 Villiers Stakes at Randwick.

For Duca Valentinois the race represents a challenge for a horse whose form has slipped in recent months.

But trainer James Cummings is hoping the return of blinkers can help inspire the sort of performance that won him the G3 Lord Mayor’s Cup in Brisbane last May and earned him a G2 placing at Moonee Valley in October.

“He has improvement to make on his last start, but he’s enjoyed training in blinkers lately and if he can recapture his form from Moonee Valley I’d be happy,” Cummings said.

Interlocuter had been one of the more consistent horses in the stable as he made his way through the grades last year, but he has struggled to reach the same standard since finishing third in last year’s Villiers.

But the galloper who began his career in France found form last start when winning the Goulburn Cup. 

“I think the very testing run he had in this race last year affected him and he wasn’t keen to return to that level,” the trainer said.

“But he was able to get the form boost he needed last start when dropping back to the Goulburn Cup. He’s continued to go ahead and now he’s in the zone.”

While Gaulois is out of the handicap in the Villiers, Cummings believes the four-year-old is on track for a race mapped out for him since he won over the same Randwick 1600m last July.

“This is a target race for him and he arrives here off a personal best over 1500m at Rosehill last start,” he said.

In that race Gaulois carried 59kg when narrowly beaten into third place and drops to 53kg on Saturday.

The Godolphin Stakes contingent for Randwick is completed by Marsupial who runs in the Listed Razor Sharp Handicap, a race Cummings believes suits him admirably.

“He looks to be in great shape for this race and should again be strong late,” he said.