Craig Williams has already started his homework for the Moir Stakes as he prepares to partner exciting filly Fontiton in what the jockey expects to be a cracking Group One race.
Fontiton was Melbourne’s top filly during her juvenile season, winning her debut by six lengths at Moonee Valley last spring and claiming the Blue Diamond Preview and Prelude for fillies early this year.
She finished fifth as favourite in the $1 million Blue Diamond Stakes and emerged from that race needing surgery to remove bone chips from a fetlock.
Williams jumped aboard Fontiton for the first time in a pleasing jump-out at Ballarat eight days ago leading into Friday night’s weight-for-age race at Moonee Valley where the filly has 51kg.
“I was going through her tapes last night and she’s a serious racehorse, so I’m looking forward to seeing her back at the track,” Williams said.
The jockey was pleased with Fontiton’s work-out.
“I jumped her out the other day and they ran really fast,” he said.
“She was quite hairy in the coat but that would have really brought her on, so I’m really looking forward to her turning up in the mounting yard to see how she looks.
“It’s going to be a cracking race.”
He said the fact trainer Robert Smerdon was prepared to run Fontiton against older horses instead of against her own age was enough to instil confidence in the filly.
“We’ve seen her form and we know she’s a top-quality Group filly. So for him to want to go this way, just shows you how much confidence Robert has got in her,” Williams said.
Fontiton has been prepared from Smerdon’s Ballarat stable and worked on the course proper there on Saturday.
The trainer said Fontiton was “ready to go” first-up but needed to be because it’s her acid test.
“I think she goes in very ready. Barriers are going to play a part but Craig has had a ride on her in a trial which is important.”
Fontiton is scheduled for a three-start campaign culminating in the Group One Coolmore Stud Stakes (1200m).
The Moir has 20 nominations with Fontiton and the unbeaten Petits Filous the two fillies in the entries with the latter the early favourite.
Queensland star Buffering is set to make his return and has won the Moir twice before when it was over 1200m.