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Craig Williams has labelled Loving Gaby one of Australia's best sprinters

Craig Williams has labelled Loving Gaby one of Australia’s best sprinters ahead of her return to The Valley for a Group One assignment.

That race is Friday night’s William Reid Stakes (1200m), the first of a big weekend of Group One action that will also see Williams chasing more feature race success in Sydney.

With biosecurity measures in place, Williams and a group of fellow jockeys will board a chartered flight after racing at The Valley to compete at the Golden Slipper meeting at Rosehill on Saturday.

Williams has rides in three Group One races on Saturday, including Personal in the Golden Slipper.

Racing around a turn has Williams excited for Loving Gaby’s return bout with Bivouac who had the filly’s measure down the Flemington straight in the Newmarket Handicap on March 7.

Loving Gaby lowered Bivouac’s colours in the Manikato Stakes over Friday night’s course and distance during the Melbourne spring carnival.

“She was airborne before the Newmarket but Bivouac, he was dominant down the straight,” Williams said.

“But I’m really looking forward to her getting back around a bend.

“It’s not your normal William Reid Stakes at all this year, this is a cracking race.”

Williams galloped Loving Gaby at The Valley on Monday and said her work was as solid as it had been all campaign.

He said Loving Gaby’s defeats down the straight at Flemington, while disappointing, were excellent performances.

“She’s still a three-year-old filly but she is one of the best sprinters we have in the land and she feels furnished,” Williams said.

“If we can have some luck getting back to a track that she’s won a Group One race at, then we should be in the finish.”

Interestingly, Bivouac has the same draw on Friday night as in his Manikato defeat while Loving Gaby moves from barrier two to five in the William Reid.

Williams said that is ideal for Loving Gaby as the filly likes galloping room.

Early betting has Bivouac the $2.40 favourite with Loving Gaby second pick at $5.50 and another three-year-old Exceedance third choice at $6.50.

They were the only three runners at single figure odds with Oakleigh Plate winner Pippie next best at $11.

Star Tasmanian mare Mystic Journey ($15) makes her long-awaited return having not raced since her fifth in the Cox Plate in October .

A soft tissue infection ruled Mystic Journey out of most of the autumn and her defence of the $5 million All-Star Mile.

 
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