Instinct has left Grant Williams with a slight leaning towards Arcadia Queen in the $750,000 Memsie Stakes at Caulfield but is not prepared to write off All-Star Mile winner Regal Power in Victoria’s first Group 1 of the season.
Double-handed in an engrossing contest, Williams expects Australian Cup runner-up Regal Power to improve significantly on his PB Lawrence Stakes ninth despite an outwardly plain performance.
“On face value, it didn’t look good but after we watched it (replay) a few times and spoke to Willie (Pike), he (Regal Power) was just too fresh for that run,” Williams said. “He got stuck wide without cover. He got some benefit from it, so just look to improve tomorrow.
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“She (Arcadia Queen) was actually pretty good. She went into that with no trials, first-up, 1400m and in that company, I thought her run was really good.
“She’s probably just going to have to jump and come across somewhere (from gate 13) and if we get some cover that would be good. It’s pretty hard to tell Damian (Lane) what to do from there. Just leave to him a little bit, but we don’t want to go back.”
Williams, who takes a powerful team to Caulfield, found it difficult to split his star pair.
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“Just from natural improvement and what she did first-up, probably her but it’s gonna help Regal Power this week with the gate (nine),” Williams said. “It’s obviously better than hers. He could probably get midfield with cover — that would be pretty good.”
Arcadia Queen is a TAB $7 chance behind Behemoth ($4), while Regal Power is at $17.
Williams will saddle Windstorm, $2.50 favourite, in the Evergreen Turf Handicap (1100m) as he bids for a fourth straight win.
“This looks like a good race for him but we haven’t fared too well with gates (barrier 10) so we’ll just have to wait to see how the track is playing tomorrow,” he said.
“He’ll have to jump out and hopefully be three-deep with cover and, if that was the case, he could just flow into it, he’s a pretty good chance, I reckon.”
Superstorm, runner-up to Regal Power in the 2019 All-Star Mile, contest The Heath (1100m).
“Actually really happy with him,” Williams said. “It is only 1100m and he’ll have the blinkers on this campaign. Excited to see him back at the races and on his work, he’s right up to it, I think.”
Perfect Jewel runs in the Group 3 Cockram Stakes (1200m) and is likely to find the trip too sharp.
“She’s really thriving on this work over here and out of the heavy sand but there’s probably a question mark over the 1200m because her better form is a mile and a bit further,” Williams said.”