Melbourne breeder Todd Lichti landed his most important race when Villa Verde swamped a top-class field of sprinters in the G2 Challenge Stakes (1000m) at Randwick on Saturday.
Villa Verde (3f Not A Single Doubt — Young and Free by Kenmare) is from the first group of yearlings that Todd offered at the Inglis Melbourne Premier Sale. She made $95,000 to the bid of trainer Shaun Dwyer at Oaklands Junction in 2012.
The grey filly (pictured ranging up to the leaders at Randwick) was a Listed winner at Caulfield and Flemington as a spring two year-old for owners Mike Buys and Rob Willis before Dwyer recommended she would be better suited in Sydney with Anthony Cummings.
“Shaun had given her a great grounding and she’s been working so well,” Cummings said. “We came here expecting to win.”
Lichti paid $10,500 for Young and Free at the Inglis Australian Broodmare Sale in June 2010. “She was 16 at the time but in foal to Not A Single Doubt and I thought he was a young sire on the up,” Lichti recalled. “She was a well put together mare and good value at the money.”
Young and Free has a 2yo colt named Free On Saturday (Any Given Saturday) and she foaled a filly by Dylan Thomas in October.