Carnival jockey Craig Williams is chasing another Sydney Autumn Carnival Group 1 win with Melbourne filly Set Square in this Saturday’s Group 1 $400,000 Vinery Stud Stakes (2000m) at Rosehill.
Last Saturday at Rosehill Williams won the Group 1 $500,000 Sky Racing Rosehill Guineas (2000m) on tough Kiwi three year old Volkstock’N’Barrell and went within a whisker of making it a Group 1 winning double on Criterion when pipped on the post by the Japanese galloper Real Impact in the Group 1 $1m George Ryder Stakes (1500m)
This week Williams will take over from the suspended Hugh Bowman on the Ciaron Maher trained Set Square.
Bowman steered Set Square to a convincing win in the Group 1 $1m Crown Oaks (2500m) at Flemington during the 2014 Melbourne Spring Carnival and was aboard again at the filly’s second run back from a spell when third to Noble Protector in the Group 3 $150,000 Schweppervescence Trophy (1600m) at Flemington on March 14.
Michelle Payne substituted for the filly’s first Autumn Carnival run when second to Sweet And Speedy in the Group 3 $150,000 The Vanity (1400m) at Flemington on February 21
Set Square is high up in the betting for the Vinery Stud Stakes and is the $5.50 second favourite with Ladbrokes.com.au behind the $1.90 hot pot First Seal.
The next two in the market order are the Chris Waller fillies Winx at $7 and Amicus at $10.
Maher is looking for a bold performance from Set Square stepping up to a more suitable 2000m and can see First Seal as the one to beat.
“Getting out over 2000 metres plays to my filly’s advantage, obviously First Seal is very brilliant but it will be interesting,” Maher told racing.com.
“Craig is in good form so I’m happy to have him on Saturday.”
“She has had a good grounding, similar to her campaign last time leading into the VRC Oaks.”
“Her fitness is good and after two good runs in Melbourne she is heading to her two target races this campaign in terrific order.
Set Square had to overcome wide barriers at her two runs this campaign with nine out of nine in The Vanity and eleven out of twelve in the Schweppervescence Trophy and Maher is hoping for better luck at tomorrow’s barrier draw.
“Hopefully she can draw a decent barrier to enable us to possie a bit closer because she has drawn wide at her two runs here which meant she has had to go back and then hit the line hard,” Maher said.
Set Square’s Sydney Autumn Carnival won’t end on Saturday and the Reset filly will then head to the Group 1 $1m Australian Oaks (2400m) at Randwick on April 11, the second day of ‘The Championships’.
“She has been really strong to the line and the extra distance will be ideal. I expect a really bold showing in the Vinery and that will top her off for the Oaks,” Maher said.
Early Australian Oaks market order: $4.40 Set Square, $7 First Seal, Winx, $9 Adrift, $11 Ballet Suite, Savaria, $13 Amicus, Fenway, Sweet And Speedy.