A former Ukrainian president had the same sentiment as many punters after Saturday’s Caulfield meeting.
There was plenty of love around for Craig Williams from both the under-siege nation and racing fans after the jockey booted home four winners in wet conditions.
Williams started Saturday with an appearance on the Today show on the Nine Network to talk about his recent trips to Ukraine with his wife Larysa to deliver desperately needed medical supplies.
Williams also shared a video from former Ukrainian president Petro Poroshenko, who gave his thanks to all that had donated to the jockey’s appeal for assistance.
Williams started his winning quartet with a narrow win on Passione for Ballarat trainer Nigel Blackiston in the Royal Meeting Is All Class (1400m).
The Melbourne Cup-winning jockey got the best out of promising stayer Sing For Peace in the MRC Chairman’s Club Handicap but saved his best ride for Teewaters in the VOBIS Gold Stayers (2400m).
Teewaters ran third in the Victoria Derby in the spring but struggled to race up to his best in the autumn.
The combination of Williams and Ballarat trainer Archie Alexander got Teewaters back to winning form in the $175,000 contest.
Williams stalked the leaders on the three-year-old before perfectly timing his run, allowing Teewaters to stride clear to easily beat his older rivals.
Alexander praised Williams’ execution of the pre-race plan.
“It almost looked like we’d paid the two in front to go off at a nice gallop,” Alexander said.
“We had a good chat, and with Craig it’s always a good chat, in the morning about how we’re going to ride him.
“Everything he said happened.”
Alexander was thrilled to get Teewaters back to winning form but said the son of Dundeel could measure up in harder races, especially as he thrives in contests over 2400m and further.
“We’ll chip away at the winter and have him ready for the spring,” Alexander said.
“He’ll maybe have a little let-up but I can’t see why the Bendigo or Geelong Cup won’t suit him then we’ll see what we’ve got left.”
Co-trainer Matt de Kock was the latest to laud Williams after the champion jockey steered Throntari down the middle of a deteriorating track to win the Stow Storage Solutions Handicap (1200m).
Throntari had struggled to finish off her races over 1300m and 1400m at her last two starts but dropping to 1200m as well as the booking of Williams aided her improvement.
“Craig is an absolute master and it’s a privilege to have someone of his experience on board and he rode her an absolute treat,” de Kock, who trains Throntari in partnership with Robbie Griffiths, said.
Throntari had gone winless in 10 starts since her debut win but Williams said he was confident the daughter of Alpine Eagle would be in the finish after his pre-race analysis.
“I did my form on her and I thought she would be very competitive in a three-year-old handicap, especially an end of season handicap on rain-affected ground,” Williams said.
“She’s been up and down like a yoyo but they found the right formula today.”
Williams’s late season haul took him to 50 wins in Melbourne for the season, leaving him in third spot in the Victorian metropolitan jockeys’ premiership.
Article – RACENET – Brad Waters
23 July 2022