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Strong book for Williams at Caulfield

Rides in stakes races at Caulfield will help Craig Williams in his decision making ahead of Group One races later in the autumn.

Saturday is one of several key days for Blue Diamond Stakes and Australian Guineas contenders.

Melbourne’s premier jockey, Williams has strong rides in the day’s feature races, pairing with the favourites in the two-year-old races, the Chairman’s Stakes and the Inglis Premier and rides the equal favourite in the three-year-old Manfred Stakes.

Morton’s Fork is on Williams’ shortlist for the Australian Guineas after he rode the three-year-old to victory in the Sandown Guineas last spring.

Williams has ridden Morton’s Fork in a jump-out at Flemington to prepare for his racing return.

“Any horse that is competitive in the Carbine Club and the Sandown Guineas is definitely up to Australian Guineas class,” Williams said.

“They have to come back but Saturday’s race will give us a good indication with a number of the horses going towards the Guineas.”

Morton’s Fork shares the top line of betting at $5 with Hey Doc and Derryn and the race features a number of runners resuming and heading towards the Australian Guineas.

Williams has ridden several of the leading Blue Diamond fancies in recent weeks and partners Formality, $3 favourite, for the first time in the Chairman’s Stakes on Saturday.

He also rides $2.35 favourite Jukebox in the Inglis Premier after riding the Ciaron Maher-trained two-year-old to a debut victory at Geelong.

Williams has already ridden Blue Diamond hopes Catchy, Tulip and Property to victory.

Formality could enter his Blue Diamond thoughts if successful on Saturday.

“She couldn’t have been more impressive winning at Werribee,” Williams said.

“She looked a bit awkward around the turn so that’s something I’ll have to keep in mind going around Caulfield for the first time.”

Williams was impressed with Jukebox’s Geelong win.

“He’s a quality horse,” Williams said.

“I think he will derive a lot from the experience at Geelong and most importantly he’ll improve with fitness from that first run.”

Williams rides Lady Esprit, the $5 second favourite, for the first time in the Listed W J Adams Stakes and likes what he’s sees.

“This is going to be her toughest test but she’s in extreme form, on her home track, so if she gets the same luck and if she steps up, she will be competitive,” he said.

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