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CRAIG WILLIAMS’ PATH TO ELUSIVE MELBOURNE CUP WIN

* Started his career as an apprentice rider for father Alan in 1993

* First of more than 50 Group One wins on Grand Echezeaux in the 2000 Australasian Oaks

* Stints riding in the United Kingdom, Dubai and Hong Kong, where he teamed up with trainer David Hayes

* Returned to Australia in 2005 along with Hayes to ride for Lindsay Park

* Five-time Scobie Breasley Medal winner (2006-09, 2017)

* Won 83 races in Melbourne last season to claim 2018-19 jockeys’ premiership

* Notched Cup win on his 15th attempt on Danny O’Brien-trained Vow And Declare

* Famously missed ride on French-trained 2011 winner Dunaden through suspension

* Winner of two Caulfield Cups (Southern Speed, Dunaden), two Cox Plates (Fields Of Omagh, Pinker Pinker) and a Golden Slipper (Miss Finland)

* Williams’ Cup victory completes a ‘grand slam’ of Australian racing (Golden Slipper, Caulfield Cup, Cox Plate and Melbourne Cup)

* Only eight jockeys have achieved a ‘grand slam’: Neville Sellwood, Roy Higgins, Pat Hyland, Mick Dittman, Jim Cassidy, Damien Oliver, Chris Munce and Craig Williams

QUOTES

“It was a privilege to ride him today. Look at him, he knows he’s won. I’m so grateful to be given the opportunity. He just gave me a beautiful ride. Danny O’Brien and the owners gave me no instructions. He just said ‘trust the horse'” – Williams

“I remember after the Caulfield Cup when we secured the ride for him in the Melbourne Cup, I said to my wife, we’re going to win the Melbourne Cup. I said that when David Redvers spoke to me after Dunaden but I was unfortunately unavailable to ride him that year. Then our biggest worry was, is he (Vow And Declare) going to make the field” – Williams

 
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