Staying at home the right call for Craig Williams   Leave a comment

Staying at home the right call for Craig Williams

Craig Williams is keen to win the Melbourne jockeys’ premiership. Picture: Wayne Ludbey

Craig Williams is keen to win the Melbourne jockeys’ premiership. Picture: Wayne Ludbey Source: News Corp Australia

CRAIG Williams abandoned his regular and lengthy riding stints in Europe and Japan to concentrate on winning the Melbourne metropolitan jockeys’ premiership this season.

Despite having no luck at Seymour at Wednesday’s transferred Sandown meeting, Williams holds a narrow lead in the title race from Damien Oliver and Dwayne Dunn.

Williams is equal with Oliver with 39 city winners, but has ridden more placings. Dunn is on 38 winners.

The 37-year-old, who will partner the David Hayes-Tom Dabernig-trained Criterion in Hong Kong and England during the next few weeks, said a premiership win would mean a lot to him.

“I wanted to stay home this year and now that I’m leading the championship, it looks like I’ll be doing all the racing here through winter,” Williams said.

“I am definitely keen to win it. My children (Viktor, 17, Olena, 12, Oliver, 5, and Summer, 3) are getting older and they are starting to understand it more.

Craig Williams will ride Queen Elizabeth winner Criterion in Hong Kong next month.

Craig Williams will ride Queen Elizabeth winner Criterion in Hong Kong. Source: Getty Images

“The competition is really hot with Damien Oliver, Dwayne Dunn and luckily for us Damian Lane went to Hong Kong because he was right up there. And Michael Walker is not far out of the mix too.”

Williams also expects the likes of apprentice Patrick Moloney to ride plenty of winners through the winter. While he’s happy with his resurgence, he said his season could have been better last spring.

“It hasn’t been one of my better seasons as far as major races go because if we go back through the spring, I got deleted from two of my horses in the Melbourne and Caulfield Cups after acceptances,” he said.

Craig Williams holds a slender lead in the Melbourne jockeys’ premiership. Picture: Simon

Craig Williams holds a slender lead in the Melbourne jockeys’ premiership. Picture: Simon Bullard Source:News Corp Australia

“I was very lucky to pick up Araldo in the Caulfield Cup and finished fifth, which was great, but not to have a ride in the Melbourne Cup was disappointing.

“Then of course my horse pulled up really badly in the Cox Plate and it was one of those things that you’d like to be doing better in those races.”

Williams said he was delighted to win his first Queen Elizabeth Stakes on Criterion at Randwick last Saturday.

“Where the Queen Elizabeth sits, it is the jewel in the crown and it was fantastic,” he said.

“I was lucky enough to be on Criterion and he’ll be very competitive in Hong Kong and if he continues on in Europe, he will be very competitive flying an Australian flag.

“If he brings his form that he’s produced at his last three starts, he’ll be competitive wherever he goes — Japan, Hong Kong, Dubai, America, Europe.”

Williams said he would love to see Criterion invited to race in the US. “It would be pretty exciting for the Breeders Cup meeting to have an Australian horse like him at their meeting,” he said.

Originally published as Staying at home right call for Williams

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Posted April 16, 2015 by belesprit09 in Uncategorized

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