Australia will add plenty of flavour to the 2012 World Super Jockeys Series in Japan with Melbourne’s top jockey Craig Williams and Hong Kong based Zac Purton among the fifteen riders to compete over the two days racing at Tokyo this weekend.
Williams travels to Japan this week after a busy Melbourne Spring Carnival which collected him a win in the Group 1 $2.5m BMW Caulfield Cup (2400m) at Caulfield on October 20 on Dunaden and the Group 1 $1m Longines Mackinnon Stakes (2000m) at Flemington on November 3 with Alcopop.
“I fly out on Monday and on the first weekend is the World Super Jockey Series which culminates with the Japan Cup this year and I’m lucky to have a horse in Rulership, but that’s for next week,” Williams said after riding Mahisara to victory at Sandown last Saturday
While Purton will represent Hong Kong after moving from Sydney five years ago where he is currently heading the jockeys premiership on twenty-one winners, one ahead of Douglas Whyte.
Williams will also be competing in the Group 1 US$6.5m Japan Cup (2400m) at Tokyo on Sunday regaining the ride on local star Rulership who ran second for the top Melbourne jockey behind Orfevre two starts back in the Group 1 US$3.437m Takarazuka Kinen (2200m) at Hanshin on June 24.
Rulership since has finished third to Eishin Flash in the Group 1 US$3.437m Tenno Sho (Autumn) (2000m) at Tokyo on October 28 but did have Group 1 success back in April taking out the HK$14m The Audemars Piguet QEII Cup (2000m) at Sha Tin on April 29 three starts back.
The globetrotting jockey will then move on to Hong Kong for the International race day meeting at Sha Tin on December 9 where he will try to score back to back wins on Dunaden in the Group 1 HK$15m Longines Hong Kong Vase (2400m) as well as riding Alcopop in the Group 1 HK$22m Longines Hong Kong Cup (2000m).
Williams gained some consulation in winning the Hong Kong Vase last year on the Mikel Delzangles trained internationnal stayer after missing the winning ride in last year’s Group 1 $6m Emirates Melbourne Cup (3200m) at Flemington because of suspension after riding the French galloper to victory in the Group 3 $300,000 Centrebet Geelong Cup (2400m) at Geelong the start before.
Williams will join top Kiwi rider James McDonald in competing against ten other world class jockeys in the Longines International Jockeys’ Championship at Happy Valley on Wednesday, 5th of December, five days before the international meeting at Sha Tin.
“The 2012 LONGINES International Jockeys’ Championship has a great line-up of global talent, one that befits a world-renowned contest which now offers HK$500,000 more in overall prize money than it did 12 months ago,” said William A Nader, HKJC’s Executive Director of Racing.
“This event is one of the most exciting in the Hong Kong racing calendar and an important event on the international stage – one in which the world’s elite jockeys test their skills and their mettle in a unique battle for supremacy around the iconic Happy Valley Racecourse.”
Williams will return to Japan after Hong Kong’s International race day for a three month riding stint over the Summer.