Villette was a 33/1 winner at Kempton last night to continue her tradition of winning at big prices, having previously won at 20/1 and 50/1.
The 4yo Sixties Icon filly, one of fourteen runners in the 1m3f handicap for 4yos and upwards rated 0-85, may have been big odds but her victory was no fluke. Always handily placed on the rails behind the leaders, the Rob Hornby ridden filly was always travelling strongly and she took it up 150 yards from home and hung on to win by a neck from Sporting Times.
Lightly raced, Villette has now won three of her nine career starts including two out of three at Kempton. She cost just 5,500 guineas at Newmarket in December 2016 but the unraced filly soon made her mark. Making her debut at Kempton as a three-year-old in March 2017, she won at 20/1 in a 1m4f maiden, winning by six lengths
Following two disappointing runs in the spring, the filly bounced back with a 50/1 win at Leicester in a 1m2f handicap in October of last year. Despite dead-heating with Entangling, she won the race outright in the Stewards’ Room.
She may be not the most consistent of fillies, borne out by her last two runs in which she finished last on both occasions before resuming winning ways yesterday at big odds.
Yesterday’s success by Villette was the stable’s 23rd winner of the year at a strike rate of 15% and the fourth victory this month. This compares with last year when at the half-way stage, Harper Lodge Farm had secured 16 wins on the board.
The stable’s best ever season numerically was in 2013 when the yard had 39 wins with 20 of those coming by the end of June, it is on target to beat that total.