Big fans: Trainer James Cummings and jockey Glyn Schofield have high opinions of Villa Carlotta. Photo: Vince Caligiuri Derby winner: Glyn Schofield wins the Victoria Derby on Prized Icon. Photo: Vince Caligiuri
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“Don’t fall in love with them,” is often the advice for breeders, but there is something about Villa Carlotta that attracted the man who sold Winx, John Camilleri, to keep her.
“From the first time I saw her [Villa Carlotta], I loved her,” Camilleri said. “I just wanted to keep her. I usually sell them, but this filly was a little bit special.”
Like Winx, Villa Carlotta is a daughter of Street Cry, and Villa Carlotta got her racing career off to the perfect start by winning a maiden at Randwick on Wednesday.
“That was exciting to watch,” Camilleri said. “It was as good as watching Winx on Monday, and I’m like a proud dad with her, but it is different when you own them. She is special to me.”
Villa Carlotta has plenty of fans, including trainer James Cummings and jockey Glyn Schofield. Cummings was confident before the race, but tempered that enthusiasm with “you want to see them do it on the track”.
“She is as good as any two-year-old I have had in the past couple of years,” Cummings said. “I wanted to get that out of the way and now we have three or four options where to go next.
“It was important to have that run, so we can look at the better races coming up and we have some decisions to make.”
The race was supposed to be at Kembla Grange on Saturday and Schofield was going to try to ride the filly before coming back to Randwick, such as his opinion of her.
That was not going to be possible, so when that meeting was called off because of the heatwave and the race was rescheduled for Wednesday, Schofield was delighted.
“I wasn’t going to be able to do it on Saturday, so it was good to be able to ride her out there,” Schofield said. “She is a nice filly and we thought she was pretty good and she showed that. She was very strong at the end.”
Villa Carlotta will proceed to the Slipper lead-ups or Black Opal, but remains $101 in the Golden Slipper with Ladbrokes despite the strong win.
She was headed in the straight before fighting back to win by three-quarters of a length from Faeger and Pahruli.
Schofield made sure Villa Carlotta had plenty of room, sitting three wide with cover, coming to the turn as odds-on favourite Alizee was getting held up to his inside. Villa Carlotta hit the front and was then headed by Faeger before kicking into another gear.
“I never felt that she was going to get beaten,” Schofield said. “She felt like she had more to give.”
The Schofield-Cummings partnership will be looking for bigger fish when dual group 1 winner Prized Icon returns in Saturday’s Hobartville Stakes.
Prized Icon won the Champagne Stakes as a two-year-old and then finished his last preparation by taking out the Victoria Derby.
“He has never been underrated by us,” Schofield said. “He has come back really well and I think he could sprint well at the 1400 metres. He has been one of those that keeps getting better with every preparation.”
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