Craig Williams cracked the half century of Melbourne winners at Caulfield on Saturday as he stretched his lead in his race for a seventh metropolitan jockeys’ title.
In the absence of the suspended Damian Lane, Williams moved to 50 winners following the win of Godolphin mare Rillito to establish a two-win lead over Lane and he later spoke of how he was keen to secure yet another title.
“It’s nice to be in front,” Williams said after his win on the Street Cry mare. “It’s a great competition.
“This time of year, horses change around a lot with a lot of rating horses and horses coming from all different form references, so you have to work pretty hard but I am really happy with the past 12 months.
“I’ve won six (titles) of them. Seven would be great but regardless my team has worked really hard over the past 12 months and we’ve got some great results.”
Williams said that he will not necessarily ride in each of the remaining four weeks for the season as he already has an eye on the spring.
“My family are going off tonight (for holidays) but we’ve also got to be mindful of the spring carnival.
“I know I can’t sustain one season into a spring carnival so somewhere along the line I am going to have to have a rest so there’ll have to be a discussion in the next couple of weeks as to when I am going to have a break.”
Williams was happy to forecast a spring future for the mare to bring up his 50th winner for the season.
Williams and Rillito were most unlucky at Moonee Valley at her first run for more than a year and the jockey said after he won the Keno Margins Handicap at Caulfield that he expected Rillito would continue to make up for that defeat.
“Last start she was amazing and had clear excuses,” Williams said. “She’s a lightly-raced, well-handled, well-developed four-year-old mare who’s got potential to be a black type mare,” Williams said after she strolled clear to win easily.
“She’s never been able to sustain a whole preparation so if they can continue to get some runs out of her there’s no doubt that her ability warrants a look as some spring races.”
Injuries have hampered Rillito’s development and as a rising five-year-old mare she has only been to the races 10 times.
After settling back beyond midfield, Williams pulled Rillito to the middle of the track and the $2.25 favourite raced away for a two length win over Chiavari ($26) with a long neck to third-placed Mamzelle Tess ($6.50).
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