Craig Williams is taking every opportunity to get to know his Melbourne Cup mount Wall Of Fire.
The leading jockey made a trip to Werribee on Wednesday to partner the stayer in a light workout before Wall Of Fire headed off to Altona beach.
Williams selected the international galloper as his 2017 Melbourne Cup mount following the break down of Admire Deus just days before he was to run in last month’s Caulfield Cup.
“I was shattered when Admire Deus broke down as he was an exceptional horse, so we had to work on plan B,” Williams said.
“I was lucky enough to come down and ride Tiberian last week and at the same time Wall Of Fire.
“I wasn’t in the position where I had any extra time to wait and see how they progressed further into their preparations and one of the connections and the trainer wanted to sew up their jockey so I had to make a decision that day.
“I decided on Wall Of Fire and I’m very happy with that decision since.”
Wall Of Fire trotted around Werribee before striding a lap and heading to the beach.
Williams said Wall Of Fire was extremely healthy, happy and fit.
“He’s an easy horse to ride, not a very big horse so there’s no doubt the 53 kilos is to his advantage after carrying 58 last time,” Williams said.
“I’ll have to come down and have another sit on him before the Cup but I’m enjoying the way he’s preparing for next Tuesday.”
He added it was important to get to know Wall Of Fire’s mannerisms before the Cup.
“The more time I spend with him the more I understand about his action, his response to me with the reins and how he carries the bit in his mouth,” Williams said.
Wall Of Fire arrived in Melbourne with the first shipment of international horses in late September and ran second in the Herbert Power Stakes at Caulfield on October 14.
Williams said that race had turned out to be a strong form reference with subsequent Caulfield Cup winner Boom Time finishing behind Wall Of Fire.