In the months since Craig Williams last rode Valac in a staying race, the leading jockey has noticed a change in the gelding.
Williams partnered Valac to victory in Saturday’s RM Ansett Classic at Mornington after guiding him to win the Queen’s Cup at Morphettville in May.
Trapped wide early, Williams allowed Valac to work to the front with a lap remaining of the Mornington track and despite being headed when Ben Melham took Douglas Macarthur from last to first with 1200m to run, Valac ran out a comfortable winner.
A $4 chance, Valac defeated Exemplar ($9) by a half-length, with Creedence ($9) 2-3/4 lengths away third.
“I’ve only had three rides on him and he’s been a good horse to me,” Williams said.
“But I can see this preparation he’s actually going better than when I won the Queen’s Cup on him in Adelaide.
“I like the idea of the earmuffs on him as he’s a lot more manageable with his speed as well.”
Lindsay Park stable representative Bruno Rouge-Serret said Valac would be considered for a start in the Herbert Power Stakes at Caulfield on October 12 and the Bendigo Cup on October 30.
Williams said the strength of the spring carnival imports would play a part in whether Valac could be a contender in those races.
“With the type of horse that is here already, any of of those nice quality autumn staying races he’d be right up to them,” Williams said.
“I think the Bendigo Cup this spring could be an ideal race providing on what internationals are there and then on to the Sandown Cup (3200m) at the end of the carnival.”
Valac was coming off a disappointing seventh in the Tokyo City Cup at Morphettville last week but Rouge-Serret said there was excuses.
“Over in Adelaide it was a muddling run race. He went back and it just didn’t work out,” Rouge-Serret said.
“Craig was told to control the race which he was able to do apart from that 600 metres when Douglas Macarthur ducked around and led.
“The horse is still on the way up and races gross so there’s still more to come.”