Craig Williams’ six winners at Flemington has pushed him to nine wins in front of Damian Lane.
With nine city winners in the first week of the final month of the season, Craig Williams has gone a long way to winning his seventh Melbourne jockeys’ premiership.
After a treble at Sandown on Wednesday, Williams put on a masterclass at Flemington on Saturday to win six of the nine races on Winter Finals day.
There is also plenty of behind the scenes homework from Williams and the team around him which goes into the jockeys’ push to be crowned Melbourne’s premier rider once again.
“He gets into the zone,” trainer David Hayes said.
“He works hard at getting on the right horses. And he’s there before nominations.
“You’d want him on at this time of year.”
Williams won on Miss Gunpowder for Hayes and co-trainers Ben Hayes and Tom Dabernig on Saturday.
Tony McEvoy had Williams aboard Rivette Series Final winner Mintha and Taj Rossi Series Final runner-up Scottish Rogue, and said the jockey was on the phone chasing both rides immediately after nominations were released.
“He said ‘I really want this premiership’ and I just said ‘yes’ because he was on the ball,” McEvoy said.
Three of Williams’ six winners came for premier trainer Darren Weir.
“He deserves every success he gets because he’ll be on the phone tomorrow morning. I don’t see any other jockeys on the phone tomorrow morning,” Weir said.
“He does all his homework and a lot of other jockeys should take a leaf out of his book and work as hard as he does.”
Williams, who now leads Damian Lane by nine wins, said it was great competition and said everyone works hard.
“We’ve got great jockeys in Victoria,” he said.
He also praised his team and said he was lucky to get on well-prepared horses who tried their hearts out on the day.
“I’ve got a good management team around me and they’ve been saying that they’ve been really happy with everything going on,” Williams said.
“And even though we hadn’t got the desired results two months ago for that month it was a lead-in month for us for winners. We thought everything is right in place.
“I’ve been happy with my body, happy with the way I’ve been riding and my decision making. There was a couple that were unlucky and there was only a couple that if you’d like to have them again, should have won.”