Jockey Craig Williams is readying himself for a big day of riding at Caulfield tomorrow, when he will contest the Group 2 PB Lawrence Stakes with Time Matters.
While Williams holds high regard for the nine-year-old Time Matters, he understands he will have to contend with a high quality field.
“Of course at a weight-for-age scale it’s pretty hard to beat a horse like Whobegotyou and it’s pretty exciting to see how the three year old fillies of last season go coming back,” Williams said.
“I think they’re probably the main danger.
“The rest look like a group of staying horses resuming, which in Australian racing they still can race very well at seven furlongs.”
Williams rode Time Matters to his third placing at Caulfield in the Sandown Park (U.K.) Handicap last start.
“But I’ve been really happy with the way that the horse went last time and I expect him to be hopefully positive from the gate and take up a good position and he is very tough and… he is very fit,” he said.
“So I think it’s going to play into his hands with a lot of these horses maybe setting their targets a lot further into the spring.”
Williams will ride eight-year-old gelding De Arias in the first race of the day at Caulfield, however, expects the tempo of the race to work against the horse.
“Unfortunately I rode him last time it was the same scenario when there wasn’t much pressure on,” Williams said.
“But he’s drawn a similar gate so he can be a little bit closer but speaking to (trainer) Jamie Edwards he is a very tempo related horse and he needs races run to suit him.”
Peter Moody’s Testascana will run in Legacy Bridge Appeal Handicap and Williams is hopeful he can ride him to three wins in a row tomorrow.
Williams rode the five-year-old to an impressive one length win at Flemington last start.
“He’s drawn outside compared to last time,” Williams said.
“But the horse is obviously going really well, he’s got almost a picket fence beside his name so looking forward to riding him.
“It looks like a similar sort of race on paper as what it was at Flemington so hopefully it pans out to suit him”
Williams’ impressive book of rides continues when he rides Heaven’s Choice in the Listed Dunlite Quezette Stakes in Race 4.
The three-year-old filly beat the talented Triple Asset to win her only previous race in January.
“I guess when you look after the autumn and you look at Triple Asset’s form, this is one of the only horses that beat Triple Asset,” Williams said.
“I did trial her at Cranbourne. She’s quite inexperienced because she’s only had the one start and she was quite aggressive in her trials so we were actually hoping we could try and teach her to hit the gates a lot better than what she had done in her races and go forward.
“But I’m going to have to talk to (trainer Gary) White and see what he wants to do but it looks a pretty hard task.
“She’s want to be a pretty good horse to win against those horses from that draw (13) I think.”
Williams will take to the track aboard nine-year-old Gallo Di Ferro gelding Stanzout in the Listed National Service Stakes.
“He’s going good for an old boy,” Williams said.
“He really closed off well his last two starts.
“He’s going to have blinkers on for the second time so I’ll be hoping I can use my draw (1) but he’s been around longer than I have so he’s probably going to tell me where he wants to be in the race.”
Finally, the jockey will ride last year’s VRC Oaks winner Brazilian Pulse when she resumes in the Group 3 Cockram Stakes tomorrow.
“It’s an even race,” Williams said.
Williams was impressed with Brazilian Pulse’s recent barrier trial performance.
“She was quite keen and a little bit aggressive and wanting to get on with the job,” he said.
“One thing about her is she’s a really good racehorse and such a good competitor so I think everyone’s excited to see how she’s come back as a four-year-old now after having the break through season.”