Chris Williams was well versed in punching above his weight long before he got the better of some of Sydney’s leading jockeys at the revamped Kensington course at Randwick.
The 26-year-old from Bourke achieved a significant career milestone at the midweek meeting when he won on Ever So Natural in the TAB.com.au Handicap (1100m).
Williams turned to riding five years after a knee injury ended his rugby league career in Dubbo.
“I was sitting out for half the season and I thought there must be something better than getting smashed around by 120 kilo blokes,” he said.
Williams, who went to St Gregory’s College in Campbelltown with former NRL player Alex McKinnon and current St George Illawarra forward Jack De Belin, started out with Sydney trainer Anthony Cummings.
“I’d never sat on a horse. The first day they said grab a head collar to chuck on the horse,” he said.
“I was in the tack room and I thought ‘How do I put this on?’, so I’ve come a fairly long way.”
Williams continued his equine education with Dubbo trainer Peter Nestor and is now apprenticed to Kim Waugh at Wyong.