It may be 12 months later, but the result is still the same in the Group 2 P.B. Lawrence Stakes, with Craig Williams piloting Mr. Brightside ($2.20) to victory at Caulfield.
The Ben, Will & JD Hayes-trained galloper staked his claim as one of the best horses in the country, after he rounded up a top field of runners in the feature event of the day.
After being sent around as the clear market elect with most online betting sites, the son of Bullbars landed in the perfect position, one out and one back, before extricating to the outside of the leaders to run away with a dominant win.
Of the beaten brigade, Pinstriped ($6.50) and Aegon ($21) ran on nicely to fill the placings, with both of those runners looking for more than 1400m at their next start.
2023 P.B. Lawrence Stakes Replay – Mr. Brightside
After another stellar performance from their star gelding, Ben & JD Hayes spoke post-race about Mr. Brightside’s victory.
“I don’t know about JD, but I was very nervous,” Ben Hayes said.
“From when he jumped, he landed in a beautiful position and it was a very easy watch, as it was an absolute 10 out of 10 ride from Craig (Williams).
“He really stamped his authority today, which is really impressive and exciting.
“We’ll see how he pulls up first, but the Memsie (Stakes) will be his next assignment and then the Makybe Diva (Stakes), but Sydney is quite tempting.
“There is very nice money over there, but we will take it race-by-race and then make the decision.”
Although he hadn’t ridden a winner all day at Caulfield, Craig Williams knew that he had the hot pot in the feature and he was very happy with the win post-race.
“All I can say is that the way Ben, Will & JD Hayes prepare this horse makes my job very easy,” Williams said.
“His performance today 12 months later in this same race, shows that he has gone to another level, which is quite scary.
“I used to say he was arguably the best miler in Australia, but now they are in for good options with him, they are in for a good preparation ahead.”
When Williams was asked if winning a Cox Plate could come to fruition this year for Mr. Brightside, he answered with one word.