Damien Oliver is confident Delectation will relish a step-up to his pet distance of 1200m and will be a force to be reckoned with in Saturday’s Group 1 Newmarket Handicap down the famous Flemington straight.
Delectation has relished straight track racing through his entire 21 start career to date; most notably witnessed through his close second to Brazen Beau in the Group 1 Coolmore Stud Stakes (1200m) in 2014 and maiden win at the highest level in last year’s Group 1 Darley Classic (1200m).
Pleased with the form displayed by the son of Shamardal in work this week, Oliver told Racing Victoria he is thrilled to have picked up the ride on the Chris Waller-trained gelding and is confident he will be up to the mark of the 2016 Newmarket Handicap.
“I rode him this morning and he gave me a great feel,” Oliver said.
“He’s got great straight track form, the horse seems in perfect condition and he’s not without a chance.
“I thought they just outsprinted him a bit at the 1000m and I think the 1200m will suit him better.”
Delectation has claimed a total of five wins and seven minors since first appearing on course competitively in 2013 but has been somewhat inconsistent through most of his racing preparations.
Resuming in the 2014 spring for fourth in the Listed Heritage Stakes (1100m), Delectation progressed to third in the Group 2 Roman Consul Stakes (1200m) and fourth in the Listed Brian Crowley Stakes (1200m) leading into the Coolmore Stud Stakes.
Returning in 2015 for second in the Group 3 Eskimo Prince Stakes (1200m), Delectation failed to beat a single runner home in the Group 2 Hobartville Stakes (1400m) before again making no impact whatsoever in the Newmarket Handicap.
Returning to winning form in the Group 2 Arrowfield Sprint (1200m) during The Championships, the gelding out of Grace And Power returned to the paddock following two starts in Brisbane but quickly found condition in spring; running second in the Group 2 Gilgai Stakes (1200m) and fourth in the Group 2 Salinger Stakes (1200m) leading into the Darley Classic.
Delectation represents terrific value for money at current 2016 Newmarket Handicap odds of $9 with Ladbrokes Australia.