Queensland Oaks 2015: Craig Williams grateful for chance to atone in Group 1 feature   Leave a comment

Queensland Oaks 2015: Craig Williams grateful for chance to atone in Group 1 feature

Craig Williams is hoping Ungrateful Ellen gets all the good luck on Saturday.

Craig Williams is hoping Ungrateful Ellen gets all the good luck on Saturday. Source: Getty Images

CRAIG Williams probably reckons he owes the connections of Ungrateful Ellen a square-up in Saturday’s Queensland Oaks at Doomben.

A fortnight ago, Williams rode the filly into third in the South Australian Fillies’ ­Classic, a race that was a train wreck for the second favourite from the moment the gates opened.

Williams pushed forward from a wide barrier — but should have kept pushing, according to trainer Robert Smerdon — and was stuck three and four wide with no cover for most of the race.

Ungrateful Ellen battled on to run third, a half-length from long-shot winner Okahu Bay.

Williams said the filly did an “amazing job’’ and hinted he hadn’t.

“Run the race over again 10 times and I’d probably do it ­differently,’’ he said. “But these things happen in big races from bad gates. Sometimes it works out, sometimes it doesn’t.

“She had all the bad luck last start. Hopefully she gets all the good luck this week.’’

Ungrateful Ellen (No. 2) did an “amazing job” to run third in the SA Classic, according t

Ungrateful Ellen (No. 2) did an “amazing job” to run third in the SA Classic, according to jockey Craig Williams. Picture: Tom Huntley Source: News Corp Australia

Ungrateful Ellen was a $2.90 chance in Adelaide and is $12 on Saturday, proof she faces far better opposition, although weakened a little by the scratching on Friday of second favourite Bohemian Lily.

Ever-optimistic Williams regarded Ungrateful Ellen a strong winning chance, a ­contrast to Smerdon, who is hoping for little more than a top-four finish.

“There’s black type for ­running fourth and that’s about where we are at, I think,’’ Smerdon said. “The task this week is far tougher. It’s a much better race.’’

Williams said Ungrateful Ellen had proved in the spring she could mix it with the better three-year-olds. “She ran really well in the Sandown Guineas over an ­unsuitable distance, so she has shown she has a bit of quality,’’ he said.

Williams said he was not concerned Ungrateful Ellen looked to have a “gut-buster’’ in the 2500m Fillies’ Classic. She drops to 2200m on Saturday.

Craig Williams says Ungrateful Ellen proved in the spring she can mix it with the better

Craig Williams says Ungrateful Ellen proved in the spring she can mix it with the better three-year-olds. Picture: Tom Huntley Source: News Corp Australia

“I don’t worry about that sort of stuff (hard runs). She wouldn’t be running if Robert wasn’t happy with her, and she’s running,’’ he said. “She may have had a tough run last start, but she is rock-hard fit. That’s the positive.

“They didn’t go too hard and she settled into a pretty good rhythm, so the run may not have taken as much out of her as you’d think.’’

The Oaks changed significantly with the scratching of likely leader Bohemian Lily.

Williams hinted he would probably ride Ungrateful Ellen conservatively, noting the leader-biased track pattern had changed at the last Doomben meeting.

“Hopefully we’re going to get a run on track,’’ he said.

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Posted May 30, 2015 by belesprit09 in Uncategorized

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