Graham Potter – JustHorseRacing

Craig Williams is having a great run in Queensland.

He followed up a double at Doomben last Saturday … where he scored with Tiger Shark and Golden Boom (in the Chief De Beers) … with two winners from two rides at the Sunshine Coast on Sunday and then he was back at it again with a win at Doomben yesterday.

In the week prior to that, Williams had a midweek winner at Ipswich … that fantastic Group 1 win aboard Bella Nipotina in the Doomben 10,000 on the Saturday and another win at the Sunshine Coast on Sunday.

That’s eight winners, including two doubles and a Group 1 win, for Williams in the six meetings since he based himself in Queensland for the Winter Carnival.

There’s nothing really new in that flow of Williams winners, but it just goes to reinforce the fact that it doesn’t matter if it is a showcase metropolitan meeting or a low-key provincial meeting, ‘Willo’ just keeps getting the job done.

That is a clear testament to his ability in the saddle, but, when talking to him, you will find it is his focussed mindset which comes across as his greatest strength … and one which has played a huge part in Williams’ longevity in terms of riding successfully at the highest level over such a long period of time.

“My job is to ride horses and ride them well, but that is not always smooth sailing,” explained Williams.

“I am the most critical person with regard to my own rides … and I have my team around me who critique me on that.

“We are all trying to be perfect when we go out there. That can be very hard sometimes with the mix of interaction between humans and horses, and sometimes we get it horribly wrong.

“My job is to make certain that doesn’t happen often.”

On those occasions when that does happen though … when criticism can flow like a tidal wave through social media threatening to wash away reputations … Williams’ strong mindset simply does not allow any external ‘noise’ or uninformed comments and opinions to confuse any issue at hand.

When Williams has been the target of the keyboards warrior’s discontent, those throwing the barbs would have been better off doing something else with their time because they never even got close to ruffling the feathers of their intended target.

“I know it has been suggested by some that I have had a semi-difficult time of it this season, but I haven’t. I really haven’t,” said Williams, who is clearly at peace and comfortable with his lot in life.

“I see things and evaluate them from my perspective, and I only deal with things that I have to deal with.”

“Social media, for example, is not very social so I don’t partake in it, which I think is an advantage.

“There is a bigger picture in life. I’m blessed. I’m grateful. My family is healthy and well and supportive. Living in Australia makes you very grounded and makes you appreciate every day that you have.

“My perspective is everything is great. Everything’s fine!”

And while that perspective is true for Williams, so too is the positive and relaxed vibe he passes on to everyone he comes into contact with at the track, where he is always polite, friendly and generous to a fault with his time.

Through it all Williams remains one of the true gentleman of the turf and an absolute asset to the racing industry … and it is great to see racing enthusiasts in Queensland enjoying watching him in action as much as William’s himself appears to be enjoying his time in the Sunshine State.

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