A careful plan by Randwick trainer John O’Shea was successful at Caulfield on Saturday when Lightinthenite won the $150,000, Group 3 David Jones Cup (2000m) aided by a good ride by Craig Williams.
Craig Williams sends Lightinthenite through the gap to win the David Jones Cup, picture sportpix.com.au
O’Shea had targeted the five-year-old Galileo gelding at the race for his spring campaign with lead-up races for second in the Group 3 Cameron Handicap over 1400m at Newcastle on September19th and fourth in the Group 1 Epsom Handicap over 1600m at Randwick on October 6th.
Up in distance and with Williams on board the plan was going to script until there was no room for Lightinthenite with 200m to run.
Before that moment Dame Claire (54kg) and Peter Mertens had taken the field up to the top turn with a 2L margin to Maules Creek (54.5kg) and Christian Reith. Williams had Lightinthenite relaxed and bowling along in fourth ad on the rails.
The pace went on approaching the turn with Dame Cath, Maules Creek and Extra Zero (57kg) and Nicholas Hall. Bagman (58kg) and Brad Rawiller made a strong run. Williams followed waiting patiently for his run.
Williams had to maintain his patience as from the 300m to the 200m there was no gap for him, but then the international jockey found a chink of daylight and he eased Lightinthenite into it. Finally they had clear racing room and Williams set to work to send Lightinthenite forward.
With the rest peaking on their runs Lightinthenite surged through to take the lead short of the line and won with a half-neck margin. It was perfectly judged by Williams.
Bagman (East Rocking) was second with Extra Zero (Danzero) third, the margin 3/4L. Prairie Star (FR) was fourth and Dame Clare fifth.
The time was 2.04.26 on the Good 3 track and the final 600m in 35.39. Lightinthenite paid $2.5 as favourite.
“If you look at his record he likes to win and he attacks the line,” said O’Shea.
“It wasn’t Craig’s (Williams) fault because he drew the (barrier) one and he was always a chance of getting into a little bit of bother and he definitely got into some bother.
“He has got a good turn of foot and he is down in the weights and he was able to overcome it.
“He was strong through the line. He was probably still a little keen in transit but they were probably walking.
“It’s a nice start for him at his first go at a bit of a trip. He has got a lot of ones (wins) next to his name but we’d love to be back here this time next year hopefully running in the major event.”
“It’s just a reflection on how good Champion (Thoroughbreds) is going. They’ve got some wonderful horses and they are the backbone of my stable.”
“We’ll probably take him to an 1800m race on (Melbourne) Cup day and then we’d give consideration to backing him up in the Queen Elizabeth (Stakes) on the last day (of the VRC Carnival),” he said.
“I really had a nice horse going into it and even the strapper and the owners called in on Tuesday because they are very confident they can be here next year on the first Tuesday in November (Melbourne Cup),” said Williams.
“The horse has got really good ability and he is still really raw and a little bit soft but I loved the way he had to tough it out today.
“He came off the bridle and I was a little bit worried because we just had to wait for a run but it actually worked out really good because he had to be tough, solid and hold his line and he did.”
“When he got to the front he actually switched off and I thought it might have been better to get there late,” he said.
Lightinthenite, picture quentinjlang.com
Lightinthenite is out of the Grand Lodge mare Tiffin and he is owned by Champion Thoroughbreds Syndicate managed by Jason Abrahams, K Harris, Sedgewyn Syndicate, BOS Syndicate, G Williams, L Gregory, A Gordon, Mrs C Pitman, Ms V Sheils and D Warren-Smith.
This was his sixth win from 13 starts and with four placings he has earned stakes of $344,700.