Chris Waller and Craig Williams’ magical weekend continued on Saturday when Crystal Pegasus maintained his winning ways in the Mornington Cup (2400m).
Less than 24 hours after teaming up to win the $1 million Group 1 William Reid Stakes with September Run, the jockey/trainer combination claimed the $300,000 Listed event that was Victoria’s Saturday feature.
The victory guarantees the import a spot in the $5 million Group 1 Caulfield Cup (2400m) this October and Williams is confident he can progress to being competitive at that level.
“I think he will really springboard going into the spring and he’s an exciting staying prospect, not only for the spring, but right now,” Williams said.
Crystal Pegasus, a son of Australia who joined Waller after winning two of nine starts in England, made it four wins on end and seven from 20 overall when he proved too strong for heavily-backed $2.10 favourite Pondus.
It was evident early Williams had a plan to follow Pondus for as long as possible, which he did until 500m when he issued a challenge to the Macedon Lodge import.
The $2.90 second elect hit the front 200m from home and after a stirring battle with Pondus edged clear over the final 100m to score a 1-1/4-length win.
Dadoozdart ($16) was 1-3/4 lengths further back in third position.
“We just had a bit of negotiation of how to do that from the (wide) draw,” Williams said of the plan to follow Pondus.
“This is my first time on this fella and it’s good to get to understand his characteristics, but he’s in really good form and it’s not easy to win four in a row, (including) two Listed races and the Mornington Cup around this track.
“He was welcome to the challenge late”
While a start in the Caulfield Cup is there if connections want, Crystal Pegasus remains nominated for the $2 million Group 1 Sydney Cup (3200m) and Waller’s Melbourne foreperson Jo Taylor said that was a realistic option.
“He’s earned himself a trip back up to Sydney and Chris has a few plans for him up there first,” Taylor said.
“Then I think he will have a well-deserved spell before we start a Caulfield Cup campaign with him.”