Damien Oliver and Craig Williams will continue their battle for the Melbourne jockey’s premiership title when they clash again on Bletchingly Stakes Day at Caulfield on Saturday.
Oliver gained the upper hand with a winning treble at Bendigo on Wednesday taking him to fifty-eight wins for the 2014 – 2015 season, one win ahead of Williams who could only ride a double yesterday.
Dwyane Dunn had led the pair going into Wednesday’s meeting with fifty-seven winners but was put out of the premiership race after copping an eleven meeting careless riding suspension at Moonee Valley on July 15.
Williams was the first to reach the winner’s stall at Bendigo on Robbie’s Star in the second but Oliver was quick to hit back with a winning double on Pink Perfection for Peter Moody and I Am Grouse for Brent Stanley in races three and four.
Oliver then made it a winning treble on Barely A Scent for Ciaron Maher in the sixth before Williams immediately hit back with a win on So Does He for Shawn Mathrick in the next.
Oliver said that he was enjoying the contest and was grateful the trainers were putting him on at this time of the year when it is usually a haven for the apprentices.
“The trainers are getting right behind it, I must say,” Oliver told Racing Live.
“I’ve never had so many good opportunities at this time of year because it’s usually dominated by the apprentices.
“It’s a good battle … I think it’s going to go down to the wire.”
Williams also said that he was relishing the battle to win his fifth premiership title.
“Five years ago I tied with Damien and I found it taxing and hard work,” Williams said.
“This time round I’m loving the competition with him and also Dwayne Dunn and it’s unfortunate he’s not there.”
Oliver and Williams will resumed the battle for premiership honours at Caulfield with both riders securing a full book of rides on the nine race program.
In the feature race of the day, the Group 3 $150,000 Race-Tech Australia Bletchingly Stakes (1200m), Oliver will be on $6.50 chance Petrology for the Lindsay Park team of David Hayes and Tom Dabernig while Williams will team up with Lee and Shannon Hope on Platinum Rocker who is rated an $8.50 chance at Ladbrokes.com.au.
Oliver’s and William’s Caulfield rides.
Race 1 – Noel Elizabeth Barter Handicap (1000m): Corsica Lad – Oliver, Sunday Escape – Williams.
Race 2 – David Hopwood Handicap (1400m): Zandarral – Oliver, One For One – Williams.
Race 3 – Greg Williams Handicap (1400m): Volcanic Ash – Oliver, Strong Hand – Williams.
Race 4 – Aaron Barnett Handicap (1200m): Chiavari – Oliver, Mossbeat – Williams.
Race 5 – Fillies and Mares Handicap (1200m): Fine Approach – Oliver, Young Tigress Jeuny – Williams.
Race 6 – Ascend Sales Trophies Handicap (2400m): Heavy – Oliver, Gilchrist – Williams.
Race 8 – VOBIS Gold Heath (2000m): Radical – Oliver, Word Of Mouth – Williams.
Race 9 – The Champagne Pommery Masters Handicap (1800m): Diametric – Oliver, Falago – Williams.
Sunday’s Ballarat meeting will be the final Metropolitan race day of the season and will ultimately decide who rides away with the Melbourne jockey’s premiership trophy.