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Williams on Fawkner, Walker on Criterion in Caulfield Stakes

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Craig Williams has picked up the ride on Fawkner and Michael Walker will be the new jockey for Criterion in the Group 1 $400,000 Caulfield Stakes (2000m) at Caulfield on Saturday.

Craig Williams will ride Fawkner in the Caulfield Stakes at Caulfield. Photo by Adrienne Bicknell.

Craig Williams will ride Fawkner in the Caulfield Stakes at Caulfield. Photo by Adrienne Bicknell.

The ride on Caulfield Stakes defending champion Fawkner became available when his 2015 Spring Carnival regular rider Damien Oliver copped a ten meeting careless riding suspension at Flemington on Sunday.

Oliver pleaded guilty after allowing his mount Tivaci to hamper the running of Overstay on the home turn in the Listed $120,000 UCI Stakes (1800m) and is out of the saddle until the Blue Sapphire Day meeting at Caulfield on October 14.

The Melbourne Cup winning jockey has been aboard Fawkner at his two runs this Spring for a win in the  Group 1 $400,000 Makybe Diva Stakes (1600m) at Flemington on September 12 and again when a close up second to Mourinho in the Group 1 $400,000 Hyland Race Colours Underwood Stakes (1800m) at Caulfield on September 26.

Oliver will also miss the ride on Ready For Victory in the Group 1 $1m BECK Caulfield Guineas (1600m), Disposition in the Group 1 $400,000 David Jones NBCF Toorak Handicap (1600m) and Jameka in the Group 1 $500,000 Schweppes Thousand Guineas (1600m).

Williams has also had a good relationship with the David Hayes and Tom Dabernig trained Criterion with the pair combining to win the Group 1 $4m Longines Queen Elizabeth Stakes (2000m) at Randwick on April 11, the second day of ‘The Championships’ during the 2015 Sydney Autumn Carnival, but Walker gets the nod for Saturday.

Williams also travelled to Hong Kong and partnered Criterion when third to Blazing Speed in the Group 1 HK$20m Audemars Piguet QEII Cup (2000m) a Sha Tin on April 26.

The Lindsay Park Team then took Criterion to England where he ran fifth with Chad Schofield in the Group 1 £525,000 Prince Of Wales’s Stakes (1 mile, 2 furlongs) at Ascot, on June 17 before running sixth with William Buick in the Group 1 £900,000 Juddmonte International Stakes (1 mile 2 furlongs 88 yards) at York on August 19.

Walker missed out on the winning ride in the Queen Elizabeth Stakes because of suspension, but gets his chance this week in the Caulfield Stakes and is also booked to ride the Sebring stallion in the Group 1 $3m Cox Plate (2040m) at Moonee Valley on October 24.

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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