Craig Williams has given Group 1 winner Commanding Jewel the thumbs up ahead of her long-awaited return to racing this Saturday. The star jockey had his first feel of the Leon Corstens-trained four-year-old in an 800m workout at Moonee Valley, venue for the $120,000 Listed Carlyon Stakes (1000m), reports Racing Victoria.

The Thousand Guineas heroine was given a solid hitout by Williams, covering the gallop in 50.5 seconds, which included a 36secs 600m split and 23.9secs for the final 400m. The globe-trotting hoop was impressed.

"Leon asked me to give her a really good half-mile gallop and she felt really solid inside the last 600,” Williams said of Commanding Jewel, who did not wear the blinkers she sports on raceday.

“She had a nice blow. That will really put her in good stead for Saturday’s 1000-metre race. She’s a lovely horse to ride; she felt really smooth this morning and it was good to get a feel of her.”

Williams has been booked for the first two rides of Commanding Jewel’s Spring Racing Carnival campaign – the Carlyon and then $220,000 Group 2 Let’s Elope Stakes (1400m) at Flemington on 7. Damien Oliver is expected to return after that.

Commanding Jewel, a daughter of Commands and three-quarter-sister to unbeaten megastar Atlantic Jewel, has not started since claiming the Thousand Guineas with Oliver aboard last October.

Williams said he doubted Commanding Jewel’s ability to get the 1600m Guineas trip last Spring, but her combination of physical maturity combined with the feeling he got this morning suggested she could get further if trained for it.

“Even though she won the 1000 Guineas, I thought she was probably too brilliant to,” he said. “But she seems to have great a mannerism - enough to say that she would be able to relax if they wanted to get out to a distance.”

Corstens will wait until after the Let’s Elope Stakes before locking in Commanding Jewel’s Spring plans, but she has been entered for the $3 million Sportingbet Cox Plate (2040m) at Moonee Valley on 26 October.

The Carlyon Stakes is one of two $120,000 Listed events on the Moonee Valley card that also includes the Essendon Nissan McKenzie Stakes (1200m) for three-year-old colts and geldings, in which Williams will partner the Danny O’Brien-trained Shamus Award.