Craig Williams out of the Melbourne Cup

By: Chris Bassani
October 31st, 2011
Breaking News

Star¬† jockey Craig Williams will not ride French stayer Dunaden in tomorrow’s Melbourne Cup.

The Victorian Civil and Administrative Tribunal this afternoon did not grant Williams a stay of proceedings pending an appeal against a 10-meeting suspension incurred at last Wednesday’s Bendigo Cup meetings.

It robs the 34-year-old the chance to become the first jockey to ride the winner of the Caulfield Cup, Cox Plate and Melbourne Cup in the one year.

French jockey Christophe Lemaire will ride Dunaden.

Lemaire has ridden Dunaden twice  in April 2009 in France but has never ridden in Australia.

Williams won the Caulfield Cup on Southern Speed and the Cox Plate on Pinker Pinker.

Williams was suspended for 10 meetings on a careless riding charge at Bendigo last Wednesday. He had an appeal against the conviction dismissed by the Racing Appeals and Disciplinary Board last Friday.

Williams said no further action on the matter will be taken.

Bookmakers are expecting Dunaden may be a drifter in betting now Williams is outed.

They are not the only ones wary of the jockey change.

Dunaden is raced by Qatar’s Sheik Fahad Al Thani who liked what Williams acheived in the Geelong Cup on the horse.

“The public won’t see the best of the horse” if Williams’ appeal fails,” he said before the hearing.

“I only picked him to ride in the Geelong (Cup) after I got him to commit he would ride him in the Melbourne Cup.

“The horse needs to know the jockey and the jockey needs to know the horse, especially this horse, and he got along very well with him.

“He knew how to switch him off and he knew when to press the button.”

Nash Rawiller‘s application for a stay of proceedings so he can ride Unusual Suspect in the Melbourne will follow.

Rawiller was suspended for eight meetings on a careless riding charge also at Bendigo.

His appeal was dismissed by the RAD Board, but he had one meeting shaved off his penalty.

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