Williams on target to repeat Caulfield Cup – Cox Plate double

By: Mark Mazzaglia
October 22nd, 2012

Craig Williams is on target to repeat last year’s momentous feat of winning both the Caulfield Cup and the Cox Plate after winning last Saturday’s Group 1 $2.5m BMW Caulfield Cup (2400m) at Caulfield on French galloper Dunaden.

Williams is booked to ride the Lloyd Williams owned Green Moon in Saturday’s Group 1 $3m Sportingbet Cox Plate (2040m) at Moonee Valley and has an outstanding chance to make it back to Cox Plates.

The meticulous rider was successful last year on the Leon Macdonald trainer Southern Speed in the Caulfield Cup and followed that up with an historical win on the ill-fated Pinker Pinker over Jimmy Choux in the Cox Plate.

And the top international rider is hoping to go one better than last year and collect the Group 1 $6m Emirates Melbourne Cup (3200m) at Flemington on November 6 with Dunaden after missing the winning ride on the French stayer last year due to suspension.

Williams was down to ride the Gai Waterhouse trained Pierro in the Cox Plate but after the colt was beaten in the Group 1 $1m BECK Caulfield Guineas (1600m) at Caulfield on October 13 by All Too Hard, Williams was quick to snap up the ride on Cox Plate second favourite Green Moon.

Even though Pierro suffered his first defeat from nine starts in the Caulfield Guineas, he is still the $3.50 favourite for Saturday with Green Moon at $5 with top class Kiwi galloper Ocean Park next in line at $5.50.

Williams, who has had an outstanding twelve months winning Group 1 races in four different countries throughout  the world, was most impressed with Green Moon’s last start win in the Group 1 $500,000 Turnbull Stakes (2000m) at Flemington on October 6.

“This horse has just got better and better,” Williams said after his Turnbull Stakes win.

“That was fantastic. I’ve enjoyed doing the work with Green Moon. It’s a great position to be in. That was really special that win.”

Williams has had a long standing commitment to ride Dunaden in the Melbourne Cup but admits the seven year old has a tough task to repeat last year’s win with a certain penalty to be added to his Cup weight of 58kg for his win in the Saturday’s Caulfield Cup.

“I never argue with the handicapper but if he gets penalised 1kg, that equates to about two lengths over two miles,” Williams said.

“History is going to show that he can’t do it – but he’s such an amazing horse.”

Dunaden has shot to a clear cut Melbourne Cup favourite at $6 ahead of Mount Athos at $8.50 with 2010 winner Americain on the third line of betting at $9 just in front of Green Moon at $10.

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