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Reigning Melbourne premiership winning jockey Craig Williams got acquainted with Japanese import Admire Deus again in preparation for the 2017 Group 1 $6.25m Emirates Melbourne Cup (3200m) at Flemington on November 7.

Jockey Craig Williams on Vega Magic, above, combine to win The Memsie Stakes at Caulfield. Photo by Ultimate Racing Photos.

Jockey Craig Williams on Vega Magic, above, combine to win The Memsie Stakes at Caulfield. Photo by Ultimate Racing Photos.

Williams got a feel of Admire Deus over the weekend and travelled to the International Horse Centre at Werribee Racecourse again this morning to put the seven year old through his paces while in quarantine.

Admire Deus was purchased by Australian Bloodstock and have placed the Japan stayer under the care of Victoria’s leading trainer Darren Weir for his Melbourne Cup preparation.

Williams was happy with his work this morning and gave a glowing report to racing.com.

“I’ve been really happy with his preparation and Darren Weir has been down to look at him and he’s really happy with the way he looks since he’s come out,” Williams told racing.com.

“He was in good order this morning, nice and fluent in his action and every time I asked him he responded nicely.

“He is actually rated higher than those two horses (Admire Rakti and Hokko Brave) and his form suggests he can win the Caulfield Cup and he can win the Melbourne Cup.

“Most importantly, so far in his work he’s felt like he has brought that out to Melbourne which is fantastic.”

Williams is currently on the sidelines because of a twenty-three meetings careless riding suspension for causing interference that saw the Weir trained Limestone clipping heels and dislodging Damian Lane at the 100m in the Group 2 $200,000 Danehill Stakes (1200m) at Flemington last Saturday and will miss three Group 1 meetings and will be free to return to the saddle after the Turnbull Stakes Race Day on October 7.

The premiership winning jockey has been booked to ride the Lindsay Park trained Vega Magic in the $10m The Everest (1200m) at Randwick on October 14 which means he won’t be riding at the Ladbrokes Caulfield Guineas Day at Caulfield on the same day.

Williams has forfeited rides in four Group 1 races on the day, the $2m Ladbrokes Caulfield Guineas (1600m) , the $500,000 Schweppes Thousand Guineas (1600m) , the $500,000 Toorak Handicap (1600m) and the $1m Ladbrokes Caulfield Stakes (2000m) .

Williams will be striving to keep his perfect record intact on Vega Magic who he partnered to two wins from two rides in the Group 1 $1m Darley Goodwood (1200m) at Morphettville on May 20 and in the Group 1 $1m New Zealand Bloodstock Memsie Stakes (1400m) at Caulfield on September 2.

“I’ve only had two rides on him (Vega Magic) for two Group 1 wins and when I got the phone call (to confirm I was riding him) I was delighted,” Williams said.

“His last performance was excellent, he fits the bill for the race and I know the stable is very confident with the way he has trained on.

“If I was stuck back home at Caulfield for the day I would be delighted as well and it’s just a shame that these two feature race days have to clash.

“It was a difficult decision (to ride in Sydney), not only because there are four Group 1 races on the day, but because it’s a platform for other feature races to come.”

Early betting for the 2017 Melbourne Cup at Ladbrokes.com.au has Admire Deus the second pick at $11 behind last year’s winner Almandin at $6.50.

Early betting for the 2017 Melbourne Cup at Ladbrokes.com.au: $6.50 Almandin, $11 Admire Deus, $13 Bonneval, $15 Humidor, $17  Francais Of Assisi, Harlem, Red Cardinal, $21 Amelie’s Star, Gingernuts, Marmelo, Ventura Storm, $26 Rekindling, Tiberian, Hartnell, Wall Of Fire, $34 Aloft, Big Duke, Crocodile Rock, Foundry, Jon Snow, $41 or better the rest.

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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