The omission of the world’s highest-rated sprinter Black Caviar from Saturday’s Group One Futurity Stakes at Caulfield has Craig Williams confident reigning Cox Plate heroine Pinker Pinker can return with a win.
With the news that Black Caviar will have a let-up before she races again in May before her main goal, the Diamond Jubilee Stakes (1200m) at Royal Ascot in June, 11 horses accepted for the 1400m Futurity Stakes headed by Pinker Pinker.
However the Team Hawkes-trained Dao Dao, who ran second in last year’s Futurity, was on Wednesday scratched from the race on veterinary advice after being found to be short in his action.
“I think everyone involved in the race is happy Black Caviar is not running bar her connections and the public,” Williams said.
“But if you ask the opposition to Black Caviar we couldn’t be happier – she’s a superstar.
“I’m happy with the draw (barrier one), she’s trialled really well, worked really well at the start of the week so I’m really looking forward to Saturday.
“She’s shown really good first-up form even over shorter distances so I’m looking forward to her stepping out first-up at seven furlongs (1400m).”
Williams named eight-time Group One winner King Mufhasa as the main threat with Wall Street, who is now with the Mike Moroney stable, and Playing God as the other main chances.
Trainer Greg Eurell said the daughter of Reset was in “very good order” for her first outing since her Cox Plate (2040m) victory over Jimmy Choux, Rekindled Interest and Wall Street at Moonee Valley last spring.
“From barrier one she just may bounce out and get into a reasonable position so I hope she does but it can play against you sometimes that gate, but that’s up to Craig to work it out,” Eurell said.
“We’re looking forward to it, it looks a nice race for her.”
King Mufhasa, to be ridden by Nash Rawiller who won the race aboard More Joyous last year, is at $2.70 with TAB Sportsbet.
Pinker Pinker is second pick at $3.80 ahead of Playing God at $5 and Wall Street at $7.
The Moody stable will be represented by Doubtful Jack ($15) who drew the outside barrier and will now be ridden by Luke Nolen.