Prominent Melbourne jockey Craig Williams has picked up the ride on Brazen Beau in the Group 1 £525,000 The Diamond Jubilee Stakes (6 furlongs) at Royal Ascot on June 20.
Two times Group 1 winner Brazen Beau has arrived in England to compete at Royal Ascot and it was expected that leading Hong Kong rider Joao Moreira would be aboard in either the The Diamond Jubilee Stakes or the Group 1 £375,000 The King’s Stand Stakes (5 furlongs) on June 16, the first day of the five day Royal Ascot Carnival.
But Moreira was unable to gain a release from the Hong Kong Jockey Club for the final day of the Royal Ascot Carnival, making the ride on Brazen Beau in The Diamond Jubilee available.
While Moreira has been aboard Brazen Beau in his two Group 1 wins at Flemington in the $500,000 Coolmore Stud Stakes (1200m) in the Spring and in the $1m Lexus Newmarket Handicap (1200m) in the Autumn, Williams rode the colt into second spot behind Lankan Rupee in the Group 1 $500,000 Black Caviar Lightning (1000m) at Flemington on February 21.
Leading Sydney trainer Chris Waller will arrive in England in the next couple of days to put the finishing touches on Brazen Beau and make a final decision if the I Am Invincible colt runs on the first day of Royal Ascot or on the final day five days later.
Waller’s preferred option is to run in The Diamond Jubilee Stakes and if connections agree Williams will be taking the mount.
“Craig knows the horse very well having ridden him in two trials as well as a second in the Lightning Stakes,” Grant Morgan, managing director of owners Ontrack Thoroughbreds told AAP.
“He also has extensive experience in the UK and Royal Ascot.”
“Chris gets here on Thursday. I want him to make a call on a King’s Stand or Diamond Jubilee run after he sees the horse here,” Morgan said.
“There’s no point rushing decisions like this, we want to get it right.”
“Chris is leaning towards the Diamond Jubilee but there isn’t too much in it.”
Waller had indicated earlier in the week before he left for the UK that his preference was to run in the six furlong (1200m) The Diamond Jubilee Stakes.
“I want to run in the Diamond Jubilee and we are hopeful the weather forecast shows we will get a good track for the race,’’ Waller told The Daily Telegraph.
“In my opinion, Brazen Beau needs a good track and more importantly the 1200m because he will then get the chance to travel on the bridle through the race. Over 1000m, he might be off the bridle and not get the chance to let down like we know he can.’’
Reports from England suggest that Brazen Beau arrived safely but had lost a little bit of condition, which was expected.
“He did lose a bit of weight on the trip over but we planned for that — he got on the plane looking a bit ‘pretty’ but he’s settling in well,’’ Waller said.
Brazen Beau is currently the $3.60 favourite for The Diamond Jubilee Stakes at Ladbrokes.com.au ahead of Dermot Weld’s smart sprinter Mustajeeb at $7 and the Gai Waterhouse trained Wandjina at $10.
Aidan O’Brien’s Due Diligence at $11 and $13 chance G Force from the stables of David O’Meara are also well in the market.