Tim Clark to ride Ellsberg in Villiers Stakes

Ellsberg has come through his Festival Stakes win in top order and will press on to the Group 2 Villiers Stakes where he will chase his first win over a mile.

Trainers Gerald Ryan and Sterling Alexiou flagged the summer feature as a likely target after Ellsberg’s comfortable victory at Rosehill on Saturday but wanted to see how he pulled up before committing to a start.

“He is going to the Villiers,” Gerald Ryan said.

“He won’t be going to the paddock when there is $750,000 up for grabs.

“He is terrific. He always leaves a little bit of feed race night and cleans up after that.”

Rachel King partnered Ellsberg to his Festival Stakes win but has taken another ride in the Villiers, paving the way for Tim Clark to reunite with the four-year-old.

Clark has ridden Ellsberg in five of his 13 starts, including his South Pacific Classic victory over subsequent Epsom Handicap winner Private Eye, but the Villiers will be his first time back aboard the horse this preparation.

Ellsberg is a $4 Villiers favourite in early TAB fixed odds markets, ahead of barn mate and last-start Kembla Grange winner Steely, who shares the second line of betting with Stockman at $9.

Top jockey Kerrin Mcevoy has been booked to ride Steely.

The winner of the Villiers Stakes (1600m) earns an automatic entry into the Doncaster Mile in the autumn.

About RS NewsWire

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