Melbourne racegoers are in for a familiar late-season battle with reigning champion Craig Williams conceding he has set a potential eighth Melbourne Jockeys’ Premiership as one of his priorities for the season.
Williams, who has a full book of nine rides at Caulfield on Saturday, has 56 Melbourne winners for the season and leads his great rival Damien Oliver by six wins with less than three months remaining.
Between them, Williams (seven) and Oliver (10) have won the Melbourne title a remarkable 17 times.
“We had a business meeting four or five months ago and we decided that as we weren’t doing too much travelling overseas, we thought it would be great as a goal for the whole team to work towards trying to win the championship,” Williams said on Wednesday.
“Of course, at the same time, we’ve got Group 1 commitments in Adelaide and then onto Brisbane over the next month.
“We have got other focusses but it is one on our priority list so they are all working hard toward that.”
Williams has some interesting rides among his full book at Caulfield.
In the sole Stakes race on the program, he rides debutant Hilo for the Godolphin stable of James Cummings in the Vale Redoute’s Choice Stakes and he said he was impressed after just one sit on the Lonhro colt.
“If Godolphin like him and his profile, then I’m pretty happy because they’ve really dominated the two-year-old scene this season,” he said.
“I had my first sit on him when he went for his barrier ticket at Caulfield on Tuesday morning and I was really, really pleased with the way he felt.
“But it’s not a maiden, it’s a Stakes race so he’ll have to do everything right.”
Williams will have a number of punters following up on the three-year-old filly Propelle after her impressive win at Caulfield last start.
“She’s got a great profile. She was very dominant last time,” he said. “She goes back against her own age and she goes up in weight but she’s at a track that she loves and although she’s drawn wide (15 of 15), she’s a really good filly.”
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