Champion jockey Craig Williams believes the recently gelded Ability has what it takes to figure in better-class sprint races after back-to-back wins this campaign.
The Robert Smerdon-trained four-year-old was gelded before returning this preparation and Williams believes that, plus added maturity after a lengthy spell, has been the making of the sprinter.
“I think he could be a Group sprinter,” Williams said.
“He works like a good horse. He was named like he was a good horse. Now he’s putting it together.”
Ability, which races in the colours of the late Phil Sly, won convincingly first-up in benchmark-78 grade at Moonee Valley earlier in June.
He then took the step to open company with a narrow-but-impressive win in Saturday’s 2017 Country Achiever Gerald Egan Handicap (1100m) at Flemington.
Williams settled Ability just behind the speed in the straight-track race and the $3.70 favourite was forced to stretch once he had clear running as Husson Eagle burst through on his inside to hit the front.
But Ability surged and got home by a half-head over Husson Eagle, with another three-quarters of a length to Rough Justice in third.
Saturday’s race was a heat of the All Victorian Sprint Series, with the Listed final over 1200m in two weeks.
“We expected him to run well first-up but he had to do it because he hadn’t been to the races for a long time,” Williams said.
“He was impressive first-up and Robert then had the confidence to go right up in grade today to get him some points to hopefully get into the final.
“He was a little bit keen and will improve from the experience again today but when I asked him he was quite decisive late.
“I’ve got a big opinion of him and I think Robert has got a couple of really nice races planned for him. Hopefully you might see him competing in some nice sprint races over the spring.”