Victoria’s jockey of the moment, Craig Williams, did not hesitate when asked about Crystal Pegasus’ Caulfield Cup credentials after his comfortable victory in the $300,000 Mornington Cup (2400m) on Saturday.
“Absolutely (he can compete in the Caulfield Cup on October 15),” Williams told racing.com after piloting the five-year-old gelding to his fourth consecutive win.
“After this preparation I still think he’s got a chance if they (Chris Waller stable staff) want to go one step further with him. But whatever he’s done now I think he’s going to really springboard going into the spring.
“He’s an exciting staying type, especially in the spring, but even right now.
“He welcomed the challenge today. He’s a willing competitor and I love to be aboard on him.
“It’s also two weeks before the Sydney Cup, so they have options with this lovely imported horse they’ve been developing. He’s really hitting his straps right now.”
Williams – who led four-year-old mare September Run to a one-length victory for Waller in the $1 million William Reid Stakes (1200m) on Friday night – showed all his experience on the straight on Saturday.
After sitting behind favourite Pondus ($2.10 for Robert Hickmott), Williams took the lead at the turn and 200m from the post, and won by a length and a quarter.
CRYSTAL PEGASUS defeats Pondus in the 2022 Mornington Cup 🏆
— Racing.com (@Racing) March 26, 2022
“It certainly was (the plan to sit behind Pondus). We just had a bit of negotiation how to do that from the draw (barrier seven), and it ended up working really well,” Williams said.
“It was my first time on this fella and it’s good to understand his characteristics.
“But he’s in really good form, and it’s not easy to win four in a row and two Listed races, especially the Mornington Cup.”
Jo Taylor, from Waller’s stable, believes Crystal Pegasus will next run in the Sydney Cup. And if that goes to plan she will assist in preparing him for the Caulfield Cup.
“We’ll leave that (Caulfield Cup) up to Chris. He’s earned himself a trip back to Sydney, so Chris has got a few plans for him there first,” she said.
“Then I’m sure he’ll have a well-deserved spell before we start a Caulfield Cup campaign with him.
I’d say so (he’ll run in the Sydney Cup). We’ll have a look at how he pulls up and how it fits into his program now, but that is the plan.
“Take him home, wrap him up in cotton wool and hopefully get him back to Sydney in one piece for Chris.”