Damian Lane will be back aboard Rising Romance in the Group 1 $500,000 C.F. Orr Stakes (1400m) at Caulfield on Saturday after Craig Williams lost his appeal against a careless rising suspension.
Williams was suspended for eight meetings at last Saturday’s Caulfield meeting for causing interference in the Robert Hunter Handicap (2400m) when he let his mount Danjeu move out at the 700m making contact with Lucques, causing that gelding to become unbalanced.
While the experienced jockey thought he might get the sentence reduced at appeal, his request was dismissed, meaning he will miss Saturday’s first Group 1 meeting of the year at Caulfield before he can return to riding on Sunday.
“We thought we had some really good points and I was very confident with the appeal, we got a fair hearing and unfortunately we didn’t get the result we wanted,” Williams told racing.com.
“It’s disappointing, but it’s just the way that it is. Luckily it’s only a suspension, I’m not injured and I’ll be back riding soon.
“I’ll be frustrated watching from home but that’s just the nature of the beast and I’ll be looking forward to making the most when I do get back to the track.”
Williams was booked to ride Rising Romance in the C.F. Orr Stakes but the David Hayes and Tom Dabernig trained mare will now be ridden by Lane.
Lane is no stranger to the five year old mare, having been on her back at her last five starts, with their best results being a second to Fawkner in the Group 1 $400,000 Makybe Diva Stakes (1600m) at Flemington and a second to Gailo Chop in the Group 1 $1m Longines Mackinnon Stakes (2000m) at Flemington during the 2015 Melbourne Spring Carnival.
Trainer John O’Shea was quick to find replacements for Williams with Steven Arnold to ride Calliope in the Group 2 $200,000 Blue Diamond Prelude (F) (1100m) and Damien Oliver to partner Holler in the Group 2 $200,000 Autumn Stakes (1400m).
While Hong Kong based Douglas Whyte will replace Williams on the Paul Messara trained Weatherly in the Group 3 $200,000 Blue Diamond Prelude (C&G) (1100m).
In early C.F. Orr Stakes betting, Ladbrokes.com.au have Rising Romance as a $21 chance with Kiwi four year old Turn Me Loose heading the market order at $4.40 just ahead of the Darren Weir trained Lucky Hussler at $4.60.
With Press Statement being ruled out of a start in the C.F. Orr Stakes, stablemate Boban is next in the betting at $7.