Ability shows his class in Flemington win

Ability shows his class in Flemington win

Robert Smerdon trainer of Ability.

Champion jockey Craig Williams believes the recently gelded Ability has what it takes to figure in better-class sprint races after back-to-back wins this campaign.

The Robert Smerdon-trained four-year-old was gelded before returning this preparation and Williams believes that, plus added maturity after a lengthy spell, has been the making of the sprinter.

“I think he could be a Group sprinter,” Williams said.

“He works like a good horse. He was named like he was a good horse. Now he’s putting it together.”

Ability, which races in the colours of the late Phil Sly, won convincingly first-up in benchmark-78 grade at Moonee Valley earlier in June.

He then took the step to open company with a narrow-but-impressive win in Saturday’s 2017 Country Achiever Gerald Egan Handicap (1100m) at Flemington.

Williams settled Ability just behind the speed in the straight-track race and the $3.70 favourite was forced to stretch once he had clear running as Husson Eagle burst through on his inside to hit the front.

But Ability surged and got home by a half-head over Husson Eagle, with another three-quarters of a length to Rough Justice in third.

Saturday’s race was a heat of the All Victorian Sprint Series, with the Listed final over 1200m in two weeks.

“We expected him to run well first-up but he had to do it because he hadn’t been to the races for a long time,” Williams said.

“He was impressive first-up and Robert then had the confidence to go right up in grade today to get him some points to hopefully get into the final.

“He was a little bit keen and will improve from the experience again today but when I asked him he was quite decisive late.

“I’ve got a big opinion of him and I think Robert has got a couple of really nice races planned for him. Hopefully you might see him competing in some nice sprint races over the spring.”

Credit: AAP