The Sydney Cup is a possible autumn target for lightly raced import Assign after a front-running win at Caulfield.
Formerly trained by Aidan O’Brien in Ireland before joining prominent owner Lloyd Williams’ team, Assign landed his second-straight Australian win from as many starts this campaign in Saturday’s Listed Mornington Cup Prelude (2000m).
Leading home a stable quinella for trainer Robert Hickmott, Assign was taken to the front by Nick Hall and the jockey increased the pace from the 600m to open a good break into the straight.
Assign defeated stablemate Wexford Town by two lengths with a short half-head to Extra Zero in third.
“These two need to progress through their grades,” part-owner Nick Williams said of autumn plans for Assign and Wexford Town.
“In a dream, you’d like to get Assign to the Sydney Cup.
“It’s pretty tempting to go to the Mornington Cup as well with the free ticket into the Caulfield Cup in the spring, and he’s showing with his win today and his win first-up that he’s progressive.
“He’s a horse we’ll have to have a think where we put him. But I’ll guarantee one thing, he’ll get better as he goes further.”
The Mornington Cup (2400m) is on April 2 with the winner earning a ballot exemption into the Caulfield Cup.
The Group One Sydney Cup (3200m) is at Randwick on April 9.
Williams said Assign, who was having his fourth Australian start on Saturday and ninth of his career, needed a good autumn campaign with a view to the spring.