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Villami could be my next big star: Ryan

SYDNEY Mar 14 2019

As a yearling, Villami caught the eye of Gerald Ryan because she reminded him of a young Winx.

As a racehorse, he has rated her the best juvenile filly he has trained since Melito and Snitzerland, who were both Group winners at two.

But neither fact is likely to be enough to convince him to run her in the Golden Slipper, even if she earns an automatic spot with victory in the Magic Night Stakes (1200m) at Rosehill on Saturday.

"I don't think so," Ryan said.

"Our plan was to win a maiden with her then come to this race and then go to the Percy Sykes. That's always been our plan and I don't think I'd change it.

"The Slipper's not off the table but it's not high on the agenda."

Ryan and stable foreman Sterling Alexiou inspected Winx as a yearling and loved her but couldn't convince their clients to buy her.

When the Rosehill trainer saw Villami at the sales he wasn't missing out.

"She reminded me of Winx," Ryan said.

"Just the way she's built. She's athletic, had good angles, a good mover."

And Villami hasn't disappointed him yet.

The filly has won both barrier trials and was a convincing winner of her only start in a strong Rosehill maiden last month.

Ryan expects her to be hard to beat on Saturday, his only query the possibility of a rain-affected track which he has found other progeny of Villami's sire Foxwedge don't like.

"I think she's the best two-year-old filly I've had since Melito and Snitzerland," he said.

Ryan will also saddle up King's Champ in the Pago Pago Stakes and says the colt is a different horse to the one who finished down the track at his only start in the Breeders' Plate.

While the trainer is lukewarm on Villami heading to the Golden Slipper he says it's a different scenario for King's Champ.

"If he happened to win I'd say he would back up," Ryan said.

"He was a naughty colt in the spring but he's a quiet colt now."



Mandy Cottell - AAP

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