Jockey Peter Hall is confident Grant and Alana Williams’ decision to target two of Geraldton’s biggest races will reap handsome dividends on Sunday.
Hall will ride Falcon Crest in the Tabtouch-Geraldton Gold Cup (2100m) and Coming Back in the Purcher International-Batavia Sprint (1300m).
The Williams’ stable elected to send Falcon Crest to Geraldton and avoid a showdown with Material Man in next week’s Pinjarra Cup (2300m).
It shapes as an astute move from Perth’s leading co-trainers with Material Man holding a clear edge over Falcon Crest in Bunbury.
Falcon Crest ran competively, but was no match for Material Man in the Prince of Wales Hotel Cup (2019m) and Bunbury Cup (2100m), finishing fourth and fifth respectively.
Material Man’s Bunbury dominance underlined the five-year-old’s class and enhanced his growing reputation as one of WA’s hottest prospects.
Falcon Crest will carry 57.5kg in the $100,000 Geraldton Cup, a rise of 3kg. In a field of 13 the Musket gelding has drawn barrier 11.
Hall said Falcon Crest has a top chance to win.
“He goes up in weight, but this is offset by a drop in class,” Hall said.
“I thought his runs behind Material Man were very credible.
“I think he will relish this type of company and be hard to beat.
“I think he is in with a great chance.”
Meanwhile Hall said he was quick to accept the ride on stable mate Coming Back after William Pike elected to miss the Geraldton meeting.
Coming Back had been entered to meet Man Booker in Listed Grandstand Cup (1500m) at Ascot on Saturday, but the Williams camp opted for Geraldton’s premier sprint.
Coming Back is looking to bounce back and atone after the son of High Chaparral went into last fortnight’s Listed Bunbury Stakes with high expectations.
In somewhat of a surprise the five-year-old found the lead for Pike, but was under pressure from the 200m and faded to seventh, 3 ¼ lengths from Man Booker.
Coming Back, who lumps 59.5kg, a rise of 5.5kg, will start from barrier 13 with the scratchings of the emergencies.
“He will go back off speed and hopefully I can put him into the right spot,” Hall said.
“There are no Man Booker’s in this field.
“Grant and Alana Williams will have him spot on.”
Coming Back ($3.50) and Max Almighty share favouritism with the TAB.
Falcon Crest heads the Geraldton Cup market at $3.10.
RWWA: Julio Santarelli