Trainer John Price says the stars had to be aligned for William Thomas to take out the Listed Bel Esprit Stakes at Caulfield.
Coming back in distance, combined with a quick back-up and a fast pace has enabled William Thomas to come from last place before the turn to claim Saturday’s 1100m sprint.
Ridden by Michael Dee, William Thomas ($10) stormed home widest on the track to score by 1-1/2 lengths from Humma Humma ($7) with Coruscate ($8.50) three quarters of a length away third.
William Thomas was backing up from a fifth-placed finish over 1200m at Caulfield last Saturday and it is a ploy Price has used with success.
Last spring, William Thomas finished fourth behind Gold Fields over 1500m in a stakes race at Sandown, before returning seven days later to win over 1200m at Ballarat.
“From memory, he’s batted up after seven days before and this was the second time, and in a nice race today,” Price said.
“I was starting to come to the conclusion that he’s a good horse but not quite up there with the better ones.
“But he was pretty impressive today and I just love his versatility.
“He showed that he can get 1400 metres last time and yet he’s coming back from 1200 to 1100 today.”
Price said he was happy to see the pace poured on from the outset with Runson, Eduardo and From Within all vying for the lead.
That pace allowed William Thomas to get into a nice rhythm and travel comfortably within himself after a slow beginning.
“When they say that the stars have to align, it did today,” Price said.
“Although he was out slowly today, which worried me a little, the pace was a big help.”