Daniel Williams is considering a start in the Australian Cup with Valiant Spirit after the three-year-old provided the trainer with his first city winner at Caulfield.
Leading from the outset in Saturday’s Group Two Autumn Classic (1800m), Valiant Spirit ran his rivals into the ground, setting up a four-length break turning for home.
Despite tiring late under the urgings of Regan Bayliss, Valiant Spirit ($16) beat $3.40 favourite Astoria by 1-3/4 lengths, with Mr So And So ($5) three-quarters of a length away third.
Williams said the ATC Australian Derby (2400m) at Randwick on April 7 was Valiant Spirit’s main autumn target, with at least one run over 2000m before that.
“I’m toying with the idea of the Australian Cup because of the weight and the particular record that three-year-olds have in the race,” Williams said.
“That then keeps me on a fortnight basis to the Derby.
“I can go from there into the Rosehill Guineas and not have to muck around with a back-up.
“Of course the Alister Clark (at Moonee Valley) is there as well, leading into the Tulloch, but then you have to back up quickly into the Derby.
“There’s a couple of options but we’ll see how he pulls up first.”
After cutting his teeth as stable foreman for Anthony Cummings at Caulfield and then assistant trainer with Stuart Webb, Williams is assistant to Tony Noonan at Mornington and also training the odd horse in his own right.
“This is the only one I’ve had to the races,” Williams said of Valiant Spirit, who has won three of his nine starts.
“I’ve got another couple in pre-training so this has been a good result.”