Lady Villanelle
TD9 Racing cols
Lady Villanelle (IRE) : 2015 bay mare
Owner : TD9 Racing
Close Up


  Lady Villanelle (IRE)
  2015 bay mare
                                                                      Definite Article
                                        Definite Deploy
                                                                      Strategic Deploy

The family

Lady Villanelle is the first foal of the Definite Article mare Definite Deploy, who in addition to winning a 25 runner bumper at Punchestown (useful form) was placed another 3 times from just 6 runs in bumpers.

Grand-dam Strategic Deploy was also a winner on the level, prevailing 3 times for the Ramsdens in the mid 90s before winning over timber in Ireland. In fact, she was a fair hurdler and gained a bit of valuable black type when third in a Grade 3 hurdle at Leopardstown as a 4yr old.
As a broodmare, she has bred 3 winners. In addition to Definite Deploy, she has produced dual winning chaser Vino Vino Cavo and winning hurdler Go On My Beauty.
Third dam Wryneck has bred 6 winners - mainly on the flat - the best of whom was Wrybill, a winner of 5 races in Britain & Hong Kong and was runner up in the Listed Hong Kong Gold Cup at Shatin.

Definite Deploy also has a filly by Mahler (b 2016) and a 2017 colt by Yeats.



About the sire

Shantou (bay horse b 1993) was a high-class racehorse, trained by John Gosden winning 6 races. His best performances came when victorious in the St Leger of 1996 and Newmarket's Prince of Wales Stakes the following year.

Retired to stud in 1999, Shantou spent the first couple of years on the continent until moving to Burgage Stud in Ireland in 2004 where he has remained ever since.
Even though Shantou is not a big horse, he is well-made and full of quality with great walk and usually breeds this on to his progeny. He showed early potential at stud by siring a filly as good as Sweet Stream (Group 1 Prix Vermeille 2004), and has proven to be a top class NH Stallion.

He consistently sires tough horses, ideal for the winter game with such Grade 1 winners as Airlie Beach, Death Duty and The Storyteller to his credit.

Hope at the races
Form Summary

Season 2020-21 outlook
Lady Villanelle delighted connections when making her debut in a 2 mile NH Flat race at Kelso in February '20. Beaten just 4 lengths by Manorbank (subsequently sold for £80k) and 23 lengths clear of 3rd placed Sol de Mayo (sold for £25k), this was a debut performance of great credit. She may have run up a bit light next time when 4th at Newcastle in March but 'Hope' has summered well and this racey individual will be aimed at mares' novices' hurdles in 2020-21.

She was schooled in the Spring of 2020 and jumps well. You'd think she would be the sort to be suited by 2½ miles in time.

Upon the retirement of that gallant servant Hartforth - winner of 6 hurdles - in January 2018, syndicate member Ian Aitken hatched a plan with his son Greg and cousin (Wee) Davie Brown to accompany The Trainer and his regular group of stable associates to the 2018 Tattersalls Ireland August NH Sales.
This was a sale that was extended to 3 days this year, which meant a catalogue of around 800 horses to ponder over with the aim of acquiring a horse, probably a 3 year old filly, that would provide a source of enjoyment from nurturing through initial education, spells out of training, summer grass, steady cantering and then onto the racecourse.
This approach has very much been the ethos of Dodlands Steading over the past 5 or 6 years, so Donald and Callum were delighted to be on hand to offer advice as and when requested.
And so it was, about halfway through Day 1 of the sale that fellow Dodlands owner John Mackin drew the group's attention to a 3 year old filly by Shantou. John may be a relative newcomer to racing, but has a mind for detail and he was impressed by the conformation and attitude of a son of Shantou that he watched a few months earlier at Kelso in February '18 - the smart chaser Shantou Flyer.
The remainder of the Dodlands entourage were summoned from all areas of the sales complex, and opinions considered. Ian and Greg were delighted when their bid for 'Hope' (for it was she) was successful, and transport was duly arranged to ship this well-made, not overbig filly across the Irish Sea to Hawick.
The subsequently named Lady Villanelle was one of the first of that year's purchases to be packaged off down to Gary Rutherford to complete her education and in mid October '18 she arrived back at the yard to join in with her new stable companions in morning exercise.
Lady Villanelle is a nice type and we thought she seemed quite far forward but in the end we decided leave a racecourse debut till the 2019-20 season to give her more time to mature.

Season win 2nd 3rd 4th other
2019-20 NH Flat 1 1  
2020-21 Hurdles 1   1   1
Current Season Form
18 March 21 Hexham : 2m Conditional Jockeys' hdcp hurdle  (Class 4 0-110) OR 110 soft 10 ran (B Campbell) -   pulled up                 video
Tracked leaders racing keenly till pushed along 5th, no impression when mistake 2 out, soon pulled up. 
Clearly something amiss with our filly and we'll monitor her closely over the next few days.


22 January 21 Musselburgh : 1m 7½f mares novice hurdle  (Class 4) soft 8 ran (Callum Bewley) -  3rd (beaten 16l)                                        video
Tracked leader, mistake 4th, ridden and outpaced appr 3 out, kept on but no impression on winner. 
We didn't feel Lady Villanelle had run up to her form of her victory at Hexham in November. Possibly not best suited by the sharp track but this will have given her valuable experience. Now on an OR of 110, she should be better suited by a step up in trip.


18 November 20 Hexham : 2m novice hurdle  (Class 4) soft 10 ran (Callum Bewley) -   won (by 8l)                                                                   video
Mistake 1st, jumped well thereafter, always close up travelling well, quickened clear after 2 out, pushed out and stayed on well run-in, easily. 
If her jumping reflected her schooling, we thought Lady Villanelle would run well but she faced a 4-1 on shot in Blazing Port so felt she was destined for a place at best. But this was a bit special! Travelling well, pushed out under hand and heels from Callum to beat the favourite with some ease.


Previous Season Form
14 March 20 Newcastle : 2m NH Flat (Class 5) soft (heavy places) 8 ran (C Whillans) - 4th (beaten 47l)                                                     video
Chased leader until 5f out, chased leaders, weakened over 3f out
The ground was holding and testing by the time of the last race on the card, and this was a bumper run at a very brisk pace. 'Hope' travelled well enough until weakening over 3 furlongs from home but kept on though. She will be a nice mare when fully matured next season.


27 January 20 Kelso : 2m ½f NH Flat (Class 5) heavy 7 ran (C Whillans(3)) - 2nd (beaten 4l)                                                                         video
Tracked leaders going well, effort on outer 3f out and every chance 2f out, ridden and held in second but kept on nicely towards line.
An excellent debut from Lady Villanelle in a race that looked to contain several promising sorts beforehand. Push comes to shove, and only Lady Villanelle was able to challenge the impressive winner (Manorbank) in the final two furlongs. A nice filly for the future!
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