Williams Gives Big Tick to Molto Bene

Adelaide Thousand Guineas contender Molto Bene has been given the tick of approval by star jockey Craig Williams who has elected to stick with the filly for her entire spring campaign.

The Will Clarken-trained youngster will have her second start with Williams in the saddle in this weekend’s Thousand Guineas Prelude (1400m) after a luckless first-up run in the Cap D’Antibes Stakes.

Molto Bene finished fifth in her first Melbourne test despite being checked and getting stuck in traffic for the first time in her career, leaving both Clarken and Williams impressed.

“Craig was happy with the way she went and he wants to stick with her throughout the spring,” Clarken said.

“She got a nasty little squeeze and got stuck in amongst them for the first time and still managed to find the line.

“It was her first time in that position and it was a good learning experience for her as she’s always been ridden back and gone around them.”

Clarken said this weekend’s tactics would be to avoid traffic and try to travel around the field as she did in April when winning the SA Sires’ Produce Stakes by three lengths.

“Hopefully we can draw barrier four or wider to give her best chance of going around them,” he said.

The up-and-coming Adelaide trainer has been pleased with the way his stable star has settled in to her new surrounds in Melbourne and is confident she is in good condition heading towards this weekend.

“I wasn’t really sure how she’d handle it but she’s settled into Melbourne really well,” he said.

“Craig galloped her yesterday and was really pleased with her work.”

How Molto Bene performs this weekend will determine whether she has a further lead-up race or heads straight into the Group 1 Thousand Guineas (1600m) on October 17.

“We’ll assess with after the run but she’ll either go to a mile race next week or go straight into the Thousand Guineas with a private jump-out in between,” Clarken said.

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