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Key facts about the 1600m Villiers Stakes

VILLIERS STAKES – WHAT YOU NEED TO KNOW

* Group Two, 1600m, $250,000, open handicap, minimum weight 53kg, three-year-olds and older. Run at Randwick on Saturday, 4.20pm

HISTORY

* The first winner of the race was Two Up in 1892

* In 2001, 2011 and 2012 race was held at Warwick Farm

* The race was run over 1400m in 2008 because of a rescheduled calender after an outbreak of equine influenza in NSW

NOTABLE WINNERS

* Cetigne (1917), Yaralla (1941), Bernborough (1945), Carioca (1952), Raconteur (1953), Caesar (1958), Castanea (1965), Oncidon (1973), Rising Prince (1984), Roman Artist (1986), Card Shark (1987), Soho Square (1992), Aunty Mary (1994), Referral (1998), Final Fantasy (1999), Ike’s Dream (2004), Aqua D’Amore (2005), Happy Clapper (2015), Sense Of Occasion (2016)

TALKING POINTS

Crownbet

* Interlocuter is the favourite, ahead of Mister Sea Wolf and Crack Me Up

* The winner of the Villiers earns a ballot exemption from next year’s Group One Doncaster Mile

* Happy Clapper (2015) went on to finish second to Winx in the 2016 Doncaster Mile

* It’s Somewhat ran third in 2015 before going on to win the Doncaster Mile in 2017, ahead of Happy Clapper and Sense of Occasion

* Top trainer Chris Waller has not won a traditional Villiers. He trained Honor In War to win on protest over Takeover Target in 2008 in the edition run at 1400m

WHAT SOME OF THE KEY PLAYERS ARE SAYING

* “He’s going to have to get to the next level to be looking good against those horses” – Interlocuter’s trainer James Cummings

* “I really think he should have nearly won last year. He was deep the whole way and actually hit the lead in the straight” – Hopfgarten’s trainer Rob Heathcote

“His racing style is to be on pace. Unless there’s a lot of speed inside him, that’s where he’ll be” – Testashadow’s trainer Gary Portelli

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