Vinery showdown in Villiers

Vinery sires Mossman and Testa Rossa are set for a showdown in the Villiers Stakes-Gr.2 at Randwick on December 12.

Mossman’s last-start Recognition Stakes-LR winner Crack Me Up is heading to Sydney in a fortnight when his rivals will include Testa Rossa veteran Testashadow who returned to form in the Festival Stakes-LR on Saturday.

“Testashadow has been a great horse for us,” trainer Gary Portelli acknowledged as the stable favourite returned to scale at Rosehill.  “But I feared the end was near after his first-up failure here last month.

“He went terrible and I was really worried when Jason (Collett) asked for an effort at the half-mile today.  There didn’t seem to be a whole lot there but then he got a bump and put his game-face on.

“Jason said he got to the front too early and waited for them.  He’s getting cunning as he gets older and luckily he put his head down right on the line.  He’s won 8 races and most of them have been by a nose!”

Testashadow’s $50,000 price-tag at the 2013 Magic Millions Yearling Sale has been dwarfed by his current bank-balance of $1.33 million.  Testa Rossa’s Magic Millions 2YO Classic winner Unencumbered was another value buy at the same sale – he changed hands for $70,000.

After the Villiers, Portelli intends to take Testashadow back to the Gold Coast where was runner-up to Deiheros in the 2015 Magic Millions Guineas before winning the 2017 Magic Millions Cup.

Another big pay-day at the $10 million racing carnival will spotlight Testa Rossa’s next draft of yearlings catalogued for the 2018 Magic Millions.

Veteran sprinter-miler (outer) wins the Festival Stakes