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Williams and Oliver level pegging in jockey premiership

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Craig Williams joined Damien Oliver at the head of the Melbourne jockey’s premiership table with a winning double at Mornington on Monday.

Damien Oliver, above, shares the lead with Craig Williams in the Melbourne jockey's premiership race. Photo by Sarah Ebbett.

Damien Oliver, above, shares the lead with Craig Williams in the Melbourne jockey’s premiership race. Photo by Sarah Ebbett.

Both star jockeys have ridden forty-seven metropolitan winners in Melbourne for the 2014 – 2015 season and are three ahead of Dwayne Dunn on forty-four.

Oliver went to Mornington on Monday one win ahead of Williams who levelled up with a win on the Tom Cowan trainer Airalign in the $35,000 National Jockeys Trust Series Heat 1 (1500m).

Oliver was quick to respond with a win on Pantuo for trainer Darren Weir in the $35,000 National Jockeys Trust Series Heat 3 (2020m) taking him back to the top of the table.

But then Williams was able to level up again with a win in the last, the $35,000 Stellice Building Group Handicap (1200m), on the Colin Little trained Domino Vitale.

Williams and Oliver have done a terrific job to be at the top of the premiership ladder with both jockeys always in heavy demand interstate at Carnival times.

Oliver is chasing his tenth premiership trophy and has missed the last couple of weeks of the Queensland Winter Carnival trying to cement another title.

But both jockeys are likely to be in England riding at Royal Ascot ad the end of next week with Oliver booked to ride the Gai Waterhouse trained Wandjna in the Group 1 £500,000 The Diamond Jubilee Stakes (6 furlongs) at Royal Ascot on June 20.

While Williams is sweating on confirmation to ride Criterion in the Group 1 £525,000 The Prince Of Wales’s Stakes (1 mile, 2 furlongs) at Royal Ascot June 17.

“I went through the calendar and ticked off the meetings I might be here for,” Williams told AAP.

“There’s fourteen meetings that I will be here for if I don’t go to England.

“My first priority would be to secure some nice rides in England but then if I’m home I’ll be putting all my energies into winning the premiership.

“But I’m hoping I’ll be off to Royal Ascot.”

If both jockeys head to England it would give Dunn an excellent chance to edge closer to the lead in his chase to win his first Melbourne jockey’s title.

About The Author

Mark Mazzaglia

Mark is a passionate journalist with a life-time involvement in the racing industry. He spent many years as an analyst and form expert at the Courier Mail and also has hands-on experience working with some of Queensland’s top trainers.

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