Jockey Craig Williams is thrilled to partner Chris Waller’s returning Darley Classic winner Delectation first-up this Saturday in Flemington’s 2016 Black Caviar Lightning Stakes.
Williams, who chases his first success in the sprint classic, was originally booked to partner boom three-year-old Exosphere in the $750,000 Group 1 Black Caviar Lightning (1000m).
The John O’Shea-trained Golden Rose winner however will instead have James McDonald in the saddle, the Sydney-based hoop making the trip to Victoria to continue his association with the Lonhro colt.
McDonald partnered Exosphere for his Golden Rose and Roman Consul Stakes wins in the spring as well as his last start fourth to fellow Black Caviar Lightning hope Japonisme in the Group 1 Coolmore Stud Stakes (1200m).
A stablemate of Japonisme, Delectation was also ridden by McDonald for his final spring run where he beat home a star studded field including Chautauqua (2nd) and Terravista (3rd) in the Group 1 Darley Classic (1200m).
The Darley Classic trifecta are all engaged in the Black Caviar Lightning, which is shaping up as a gun rematch between Australia’s premier sprinters.
Waller’s four-year-old Shamardal gelding has won five of his 20 starts to date for $1.4 million in prize money, but will have Williams aboard for the first time in the Black Caviar Lightning.
He was in the saddle for Delectation’s smart hit-out at Flemington last Friday where he came up against the Hawkes Racing-trained Chautauqua and stablemate Japonisme in an impressive piece of work.
“I wouldn’t be in a hurry to swap him for any horse the way that he felt for me in his jump out leading into Saturday’s race,” Williams said of Delectation.
“After trialling him, I couldn’t be happier.
“It just feels to me like he’s really matured as a racehorse coming into this autumn – he was lovely and relaxed, lovely and smooth and he was still solid late.”
Early Black Caviar Lightning Stakes odds at Ladbrokes.com.au on Tuesday had Exosphere the narrow favourite, and Williams admits he will be a worthy rival on the weekend as will the Joe Pride-trained Terravista.
“Exosphere has looked awesome in his two barrier trials and he looks stronger again at his most recent,” the globetrotting hoop told Racing Victoria.
“You can’t take much away from Terravista, who’s got a fantastic first-up record.
“It [the Lighting Stakes field] might not have quantity, but it’s definitely got quality all the way through it.”
The 2016 Black Caviar Lightning Stakes field and barriers are set for release shortly so stay tuned.
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