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Internationally performed jockey Craig Williams has described his mount in Saturday’s CS Hayes Stakes 2016 field Tivaci as one of the main chances in the three-years-old clash on Black Caviar Lightning Day in Melbourne.
A host of top three-year-old colts and geldings bound for bigger things this Melbourne Autumn Racing Carnival will face off at Flemington Racecourse on the weekend in this season’s $150,000 Group 3 CS Hayes Stakes (1400m).
Local horseman Michael Moroney has two livewire hopes in the mix with his son of Sebring Tulsa on the improve and better fancied stablemate Tivaci who Williams is booked to ride second-up.
High Chaparral colt Tivaci has won two of his six starts to date, including a Benchmark 70 over 1200m at Pakenham Park over Moment Of Pride on February 4.
He was competitive in his only other Flemington run to date last October when second to Ayers Rock in the Listed UCI Stakes (1800m) before his failed run in the Group 3 Ladbrokes Caulfield Classic (2000m) on Caulfield Cup Day when dead last (11th) nearly seven lengths off the winner Sacred Eye.
Williams partners the up-and-comer for the first time in the CS Hayes Stakes and believes he is doing everything right to show good improvement over the coming weeks.
“He made real leaps in the spring and when he reappeared at Racing.com Park I thought he was very impressive,” Williams told Racing Victoria on Tuesday.
“I had a sit on him this morning and I really liked the way he went.
“I expect him to be one of the main chances in the race.”
Tivaci is nominated for the $750,000 Group 1 Australian Guineas (1600m) back at Flemington on March 5, a race Williams boasts two winning rides in with David Hayes’ former star filly Miss Finland (2007) and most recently the Danny O’Brien-trained Shamus Award (2014).
Last year’s Australian Guineas winner Wandjina won the CS Hayes Stakes in the lead-up to the Group 1 mile feature, the same double a host of the runners on Saturday including Tivaci are looking to emulate.
All-in Australian Guineas betting markets at Ladbrokes.com.au have Kiwi Group 1 winner Xtravagant ($4.80) installed as the favourite.
Tivaci and Tulsa meanwhile can be found a little further down the futures Australian Guineas odds both paying $21 to hand Moroney with his first win in the race.
Other notable 2016 Australian Guineas-bound gallopers nominated for the CS Hayes Stakes lead-up this weekend include the Darren Weir-trained Palentino ($6) and the Mick Price-trained Ready For Victory ($21).
Teofilo colt Palentino won the Listed Hilton Hotels Stakes (1400m) over the track and distance on Emirates Stakes Day last November and resumed with a luckless seventh in Caulfield’s Group 3 Manfred Stakes (1200m) he is out to atone for this weekend.
More Than Ready colt Ready For Victory is also second-up and coming off a Manfred Stakes run where the Group 1 Caulfield Guineas placegetter ran a close third to the winner Puritan.
Stay tuned for the official CS Hayes Stakes 2016 field out shortly.
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