After considering his options with Group One-winning colt Written By, trainer Grahame Begg has decided to start the sprinter in the Lightning Stakes at Flemington rather than wait another week for the Oakleigh Plate.
Begg had originally indicated the Oakleigh Plate (1100m) was the planned target for Written By who finished second to Bons Away first-up in the Listed W J Adams Stakes at Caulfield.
The Lightning, a 1000m Group One weight-for-age sprint on the straight course, has been included in the three-year-old’s program, with Begg believing it presents as an attractive option for Written By with a race fitness edge.
Written By could also back up in the Oakleigh Plate seven days later.
“The Oakleigh Plate is still in the mix, absolutely,” Begg said.
“Going through it all we thought that the Lightning was going to be a bit of a smaller field, but most of the horses in the race were going to be first-up.
“He has had a run under his belt and the 1000 metres shouldn’t be any problem for him.”
Begg also said the presence of speedy two-year-old filly Jedastar meant Written By could be able to take a trail in the Lightning rather than have to lead like he did when fourth in the Coolmore Stud Stakes to Sunlight last spring.
“He will still be forward, but he might just have something to cart them along,” he said.
“I’m pretty confident he will run very well. He has raced well up the straight before.
“I’m not sure about barrier 11 but there is going to be good speed inside with the two-year-old filly who will probably cross to the fence.
“It will be interesting to see which way they all end up going.
“But we’re very happy with him. We think he’s in good shape for Saturday.”
Written By is one of three Group One winners in the 11-horse field along with In Her Time and Sunlight, who will both be first-up.
Graff, Lean Mean Machine, Osborne Bulls, Battle Hero and Divine Quality are also first-up.
Begg said running Written By in the Adams Stakes kept the Lightning Stakes option open.
“We thought he ran very well,” he said.
“He had a good bit of weight for a three-year-old, only getting one kilo off the winner who has very good form.”