Craig Williams would like nothing more than to win a Group One race in the black and white colours of Bill Sexton.
Williams has had a long association with Sexton, a former Brisbane Racing Club and Queensland Turf Club chairman, riding numerous Colin and Cindy Alderson-trained winners for him in Victoria.
On Saturday they team with the John Thompson-trained Waking Moment in the Australian Oaks (2400m) at Randwick.
Waking Moment raced her way into Oaks contention with victory in last week’s Adrian Knox Stakes at Randwick.
“I watched the replay when I got home last week,” Williams said.
“When I saw the colours win I rang my manager and he said Jason Collett rode her but if she got a lighter weight (last week) I was down to ride her.
“As it turned out Jason had a commitment in the Oaks and I’m delighted to pick the ride up, especially for Bill.”
While the Vinery Stakes is the more traditional Oaks path, Williams says the winner of the Adrian Knox invariably runs well.
“They say it’s not the strongest, traditional way to come into the Oaks but she’s shown she can handle soft ground and they usually back up and run well in the Oaks a week later,” Williams said.
Williams has rides in the other three Group One races on the second day of The Championships.
He rides Harlem for the first time against Winx in the Queen Elizabeth Stakes, describing him as an exciting imported horse.
The Lindsay Park-trained horse made his Australian debut last month, finishing third in the Blamey Stakes at Flemington.
“The Blamey was a strong race this year and I thought he made his Australian debut quite well,” Williams said.
“I’m looking forward to riding him, to see how he feels, as he’s got quite good form from Europe.
“I know he’s a horse for the future.”
Williams says the rise to 3200m won’t be a problem for the $2.70 Sydney Cup favourite Big Duke who has won his past two starts in Sydney.
“If he brings the same form as he had last week or the start before and with the drop to 52 kilograms then they all have to beat him,” Williams said.
“I’d be disappointed if it was the distance that gets him beaten.”
His final Group One ride is aboard $4.60 favourite Silent Sedition in the Coolmore Legacy Stakes.
“She’s won at Group One level and run second at Group One level this way of going and the only question mark with her is the state of the track,” he said.
“But she always runs an honest race and tries her heart out.”