Big race jockey Craig Williams is tipping that he will need plenty of luck on back marker Wall Of Fire if he is to win his first Group 1 $6.25m Emirates Melbourne Cup (3200m) at Flemington today.

Craig Williams, above, rides Wall Of Fire in the 2017 Melbourne Cup at Flemington. Photo by Ultimate Racing Photos.

Craig Williams, above, rides Wall Of Fire in the 2017 Melbourne Cup at Flemington. Photo by Ultimate Racing Photos.

Williams is hoping that the Hugo Palmer trained English stayer Wall Of Fire will be the horse to complete his wins in the big four races on the Australian Turf Calendar, The Melbourne Cup, the Caulfield Cup, the Cox Plate and the Golden Slipper.

Williams won the 2006 Golden Slipper on Miss Finland, the Caulfield Cup on Southern Speed (2011) and Dunaden (2012) and the Cox Plate on Fields Of Omagh (2006) and Pinker Pinker (2011).

“Hopefully, he can be the horse to win my first Melbourne Cup and complete my set of the 4 feature races in Australia,” Williams wrote on his blog today.

Wall Of Fire has had one run in Australia for a second to Lord Fandango in the Group 2 $400,000 Ladbrokes Herbert Power Stakes (2400m) at Caulfield on October 14 and while he considers that form to be strong, admits that he will need plenty of luck from barrier fifteen in the twenty-three horse Melbourne Cup field.

Wall Of Fire is my ride in race seven, the Group 1, Emirates Melbourne Cup for Hugo Palmer,” Williams wrote.

“He has great staying form in England and also as a 2yo winner at 1200m, so he does have nice acceleration. He is a horse that gets back in his races so he will need some luck in a big field.”

“He has had one start in Australia which has been important statistically for horses from Europe that win the Melbourne Cup. He finished second in the Herbert Power and that form was franked a week later with winner and fourth horse of the Caulfield Cup coming through that race.”

“On that day he had 58kg and he drops down to 53kg today and he’s not a big horse so he will benefit with that light weight. I have sat on the horse many times since his last run and I can report the horse is very healthy, very well and is enjoying his preparation in Australia.”

“Even though, he has come up with barrier 15 he has a lot of the main chances around him. All going well and if I can have luck from around the 1000m mark, I expect him to be right in the finish.”

Wall Of Fire is well in the betting for the Melbourne Cup at $12 with Ladbrokes.com.au who have English stayer Marmelo as the firming $7 favourite ahead of last year’s winner Almandin at $9.

About The Author

Mark Mazzaglia

Mark is a passionate journalist with a life-time involvement in the racing industry. He spent many years as an analyst and form expert at the Courier Mail and also has hands-on experience working with some of Queensland’s top trainers.


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