Purcell on Fire

Nov 27, 2017

IMPRESSIVE Sandown Guineas winner Villermont will be aimed at next year’s Australian Guineas after a slashing performance to win the Group 2 race at only his fourth start.

A long-range plan to give the son of All Too Hard a light spring with the belief he will be much more mature in autumn came to fruition when the Aaron Purcell-trained colt stormed home to salute in the $250,000 race.

Villermont only had his first start — at Sandown — in a maiden in September, but a strong maiden win at Benalla later that month and a luckless fourth at Caulfield in October gave Purcell and the owners, including Rupert Legh and Neil Werrett, confidence he would win Saturday’s race.

“He is a very well bred horse ... he works like a machine,” Purcell said. “He is definitely going to be a better horse in the autumn.

“We deliberately planned to give him a light spring, we are going to give him a break now and aim him at the stronger three-year-old races in the autumn.

“He has taken awhile to grow into himself. He is still probably a preparation away. He might get further later on, but the Australian Guineas (1600m) will be the target at this stage.”

Villermont ($7.50) settled last and was still there at the 400m, but stormed home to defeat Peaceful State ($9.50), with Purcell’s other horse, Black Sail ($9) in third place.

“We knew he would get back, we were hoping he would settle well enough and get the run at the right time because we knew he would be coming home,” Purcell said.