Boss to Ride Big Duke in Sydney Cup 2017: Williams Loses Appeal

By: Lucy Henderson
April 19th, 2017

Jockey Glen Boss gets the chance at a second Sydney Cup winning ride booked to replace Craig Williams aboard the favourite in Saturday’s re-run Big Duke.

Glen Boss

Glen Boss (pictured) will replace the suspended Craig Williams on Big Duke in the Sydney Cup 2017 field on the weekend. Photo: Ultimate Racing Photos/

Williams appealed his careless riding suspension this week, hoping to be cleared to ride the Darren Weir-trained Big Duke in the rescheduled $2 million Group 1 Schweppes Sydney Cup (3200m) at Royal Randwick.

Williams pleaded the severity of his eight-meeting suspension, his tenth in the past year, hoping for a reduced sentence after being charged for his ride on Lopartega at Sandown on Monday.

He lost his appeal on Wednesday however with the RAD Board hearing resulting in a dismissal by chairman Judge Bowman, who full agreed with the original ruling by Racing Victoria stewards.

“After viewing the film, it is quite noticeable that Craig Williams’ actions caused Dwayne Dunn’s horse to be checked and then unbalanced,” Bowman said.

“I agree with the stewards’ ruling that it is in the low range but I do not agree with their ruling that your record is particularly good.

“You have been suspended nine times in the past year and reprimanded on three other occasions.

“I appreciate you are a leading jockey of great talent, you get many rides and with that comes responsibility.

“You are well known to be a very safe rider, one that is conscious of your fellow riders, you are a role-model jockey.

“With that is the responsibility that you conduct yourself in a manner that sets a standard.

“I’m not going to interfere with the penalty imposed by the stewards but I will remind you that I have the power to increase the length of penalty in the future.”

Williams will be back from suspension from Sunday and is expected to ride at Flemington on Tuesday’s ANZAC Day meeting.

Boss has subsequently been brought in as the replacement rider in the two mile autumn classic on Big Duke this weekend.

Since 1983 Boss has ridden fifteen horses in the Sydney Cup enjoying five minor placings and the 2004 win aboard Lee Freedman’s mighty mare Makybe Diva.

The hoop, who will fly in from Singapore for the ride, is on the best fancied of the fourteen confirmed runners in Sydney Cup betting at Ladbrokes.com.au with Big Duke at around $3.30 to win.

The galloper went around in the original race contested on April 8, which was subsequently abandoned and the results of which voided following the tragic two-horse fall.

First and third past the post that day respectively were the Charlie Appleby-trained UK raiders Polarisation and Penglai Pavilion.

The Godolphin visitors both line-up again for the second running, the latter of which will don winkers to help the widely-drawn galloper focus.

Penglai Pavilion and Polarisation follow Big Duke in the odds before the filly Lasqueti Spirit who ran third in the ATC Oaks on the same day of the original Sydney Cup.

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