An important jump-out at Flemington has given champion jockey Craig Williams confidence in his Black Caviar Lightning mount Delectation.
Williams partnered the Chris Waller-trained sprinter in an 800m jump-out last Friday that had him opposed to fellow Lightning contenders Chautauqua and Japonisme.
Chautauqua just shaded Delectation with Japonisme in third place.
Delectation is one of seven quality sprinters in Saturday’s Group One 1000m dash at Flemington, the first leg of the 10-race Global Sprint Challenge.
The jump-out was the first time Williams had ridden Delectation and he feels the gelding is ready for a good autumn campaign.
“Noticing from when he was my opposition in his replays he’s a more seasoned and more mature horse now,” Williams said.
“I was impressed with the way he felt and relaxed in his jump-out.
“I’ve now got a feel of his motor, his action, his attitude and down the straight which was a simulation for his race.
“It gave me a really good understanding of him.”
Williams sees the positives in riding a horse, whether it’s a maiden, a two-year-old or an older galloper before it steps out in a race and won’t be back aboard Delectation before Saturday.
He said Waller has some of the best systems in place, proven by the number of winners he prepares each season.
So far this season Waller has notched 10 Group One victories and he will be represented by Japonisme in the Lightning.
Delectation has raced up the Flemington straight five times but will be having his first try at the track over the Lightning distance.
He has second placings to Brazen Beau and Chautauqua up the straight while lowering the colours of Chautauqua in winning the Darley Classic at his most recent start.
Williams is expecting a tactical battle.
Delectation sat behind the speed when winning the Darley Classic and drawing the widest barrier gives him options.
“We always say more horses is more traffic for a horse that gets back, but then when you have a small, select field it can be quite tricky and can be like a game of chess,” he said.