The Rosebud: Voilier primed for stakes win at Randwick

Gary Nickson only has a small stable at Warwick Farm and much of it is filled with the progeny of the late Beneteau, who left just two crops.

Group Two-placed Voilier leads the pack and will have his second run of the campaign in Saturday’s Listed Rosebud (1200m) at Randwick.

The gelding finished an unlucky fourth at Rosehill on July 18 over 1100 metres 3-3/4 lengths from the winner Japonisme.

King’s Troop, a winner at Warwick Farm on Wednesday ran second and Tatoosh, who runs in the Rosebud was third.

“He’s been three weeks between runs and has tightened up a lot,” Nickson said.

“He got knocked about early first-up and still ran on well on the heavy track with 59-1/2 kilos on his back.

“Getting back to a firmer track and down in weight, I think he is a real chance.

“He has filled out from two to three like the other Beneteaus I’ve got. There are about eight of them and I’m excited about the two-year-olds coming along.”

Although the Rosebud is a lead-in to the $1 million Golden Rose, it is missing the big names and Nickson has changed his mind about targeting the first Group One race of the Sydney season.

“I was going to the Run To The Rose with him but I think we’ll sidestep the other horses,” Nickson said.

“I think the Rosebud is a winnable race for him before the really good horses come back.

“We’ll take him to the Up and Coming Stakes and the Ming Dynasty.”

Three of last season’s four juvenile Group One winners, Vancouver, Pride Of Dubai and Press Statement, are scheduled for a showdown in the Run To The Rose in two weeks.

Voilier finished second in the Silver Slipper to Headwater who went on to run fifth in the Golden Slipper won by Vancouver.

Nickson and Voilier’s owner-breeder Steve Vardy opted not to pay a late entry for the Golden Slipper with a view to his three-year-old campaign.

“I think we asked a bit much of him early on so we will choose the easiest path to a good race this time,” Nickson said.

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